Brooklyn Food Bank Members Unite at Bethany UMC

March 04, 2024  |  by Maggie Prendergast   |  

Food Bank For New York City provides food and other resources to a network of over 800 food pantries, campus pantries, soup kitchens, and healthcare partners across the five boroughs. To facilitate learning, dialogue, problem-solving, and creative brainstorming within our network, we regularly host “Borough Chats,” which bring together Food Bank Members of the same borough to talk about issues impacting their communities.  

Take a step inside this year’s first Food Bank Borough Chat, hosted by longtime Food Bank member agency Bethany United Methodist Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. 

 MicrosoftTeams-image-Feb-29-2024-08-58-23-0778-PMBrooklyn Representatives at Bethany United Methodist Church for Food Bank's borough chat.

Over 35 representatives from our Brooklyn member agencies showed up on February 7 to discuss community needs across Brooklyn. Attendees heard from Food Bank staff, the Academy at Bank of America, and the Interim Director of the Mayor’s Office of Asylum Seekers. The conversation was warm and productive as network leaders strategized about ways to improve client interactions during food distributions, best practices in recruiting and keeping volunteers, and how to serve the needs of asylum seekers in New York City. 

MicrosoftTeams-image (1)-Feb-29-2024-08-58-22-3005-PMAttendees review map of Food Bank member agencies in Brooklyn.

The chat was a major success, made possible by our gracious hosts at  Bethany United Methodist Church, a Food Bank Member since the 1990s! We are proud to support the work they do to empower every New Yorker to achieve food security for good. 

More About Bethany United Methodist Church 

Located on St. Johns Place, Bethany United Methodist Church has worked to fight food insecurity in Crown Heights for over thirty-five years, operating a soup kitchen that distributes nearly 1,000 meals a month. This Food Bank member agency also provides coats in the winter and backpacks for school-aged children. To support this work, Food Bank provided Bethany UMC with two double-door freezers to increase capacity in its kitchen.  This extra capital support has helped the agency to expand operations, boost production, and serve more nutritious food to its community.  

Member Spotlight: Amanda Wesley, Executive Director of Bethany UMC’s feeding program.  

Ms. Wesley has been volunteering at the program for  25 years. She believes that the rising cost of food is one of the most pressing issues when it comes to food insecurity in New York City. Over the past year, she’s seen the program’s line getting longer and longer with some community members visiting during their lunch breaks to help offset food costs. She is enthusiastic about her work at the soup kitchen and loves receiving compliments about the food... a client once told her that the soup kitchen has the best food in Crown Heights! 

Food Bank is thrilled to offer engagement opportunities to its members across the five boroughs and to cheer on leaders like Ms. Wesley who are making a difference in their communities each day.  

MicrosoftTeams-image (2)-4Participant Violet poses with Amanda, the Executive Director of Bethany United Methodist Church’s feeding program.

Visit to learn more about our mission to empower every New Yorker to achieve food security for good. 

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