programs & Social Services

we do way more than serve food.

social services

We offer ongoing outreach to the homeless mentally ill to bring them to treatment and referrals to shelters, drop-in centers, pantries, and clothing giveaways. We help counsel, advise and encourage those seeking jobs, dealing with welfare pursuing educational opportunities and searching for housing. We also provide our guests with a copy of the most up-to-date listing of local soup kitchens and pantries as well as other agency information. Want to help? Contact us.



Computer instruction conducted by volunteers with information technology experience provide our guests the opportunity to hone their computer skills and build their computer literacy. With an eye to better serving the online needs of our guests, we provide free wireless internet service so our guests can perform job searches, explore a company’s web site, email their resumes, submit online job applications or contact loved ones. Our Computer Skills Building Program is extremely popular with our guests. Many have come to our agency for the sole purpose of using the wireless internet. Its popularity is growing and we hope we can continue to expand this important service. Have computer skills? Contact us to get involved. 



Food Bank Guest Choice Pantry Bags - Your Choice Souper-Market

Every Saturday, a portion of our dining hall becomes a “supermarket without a cashier,” where we distribute fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to our guest. The Meatloaf Souper-market supplements many of our guests' tight budgets with a supply of nutritious foods, helping to provide a foundation for good health. Get involved.


The Meatloaf Kitchen has a small clothing store where all the items are free of charge where we have available a broad array of clothes suitable to wear on a job interview to more casual attire. Just as we want our guests' eating experience to be as close to a restaurant atmosphere as possible, we also wish for them to feel as if they were shopping at a clothing store. A volunteer acts as personal shopper, helping our guests pick out clothes that will meet their needs. We welcome your donation of new or clean, gently worn clothes. Our greatest need is for men's clothing.  Clothing may be dropped off Mondays through Saturdays between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Meatloaf Kitchen Legal Clinic

We have volunteer attorneys with us on select Saturdays to assist our guests with legal services, including dealing with issues of housing and tenant rights to benefits and immigration. 

The Drop-in Center and The Meatloaf Lending and Giveaway Library

Some of our guests have nowhere to rest during the day except for the streets. That's why we conduct an early-morning drop-in that features a light continental-style breakfast and a newspaper/magazine/book library. Make a donation to our collection!



The 'Gave' Program: When Our Guests Become Our Volunteers

We welcome volunteers from among our guests in our Guest As Volunteer Experience a.k.a. GAVE Program. By giving our guests volunteer opportunities, we hope to increase their sense of self-worth as they see the difference their valuable contributions make to the work of The Meatloaf Kitchen. We have often found that their experience as volunteers help bolster their self-confidence, which helps them in their effort to seek employment. Contact us to get involved.

Promoting children's literacy

The Meatloaf Kitchen has collaborated with neighborhood social service agencies and schools to communicate that we are a “kid friendly” place. Our “Kids Corner” is both a lending library and a book give-away. It's now a place where families can gather with their children and engage in storytelling and book reading as well as eat a home-style cooked meal served in a family-friendly setting. We accept donations of new or gently used books.

health and wellness Days

Throughout the year our organization successfully teams with medical groups and nonprofit organizations to provide free cardio-vascular screenings, dental screenings and health education.  The vision screening days offer referrals for free vision treatment, and access to free prescription eyeglasses for our guests. Contact us if you need assistance or would like to volunteer. 


 In the past, though successful, we had to rely on our ability to find help for our guests, as in the case where we were able to assist a long-time dweller of the Bowery region to find legal help as he was being evicted from his hotel of many years. (New York Times, June 26, 2004). There were other cases too where we helped to connect a mother of three to a domestic violence shelter and to assist one of our guests to obtain permanent housing through Common Ground. Now we have a greater reach. For almost two years now we have had a team of volunteers, New York State Bar admitted attorneys, who are assisting our guests with Legal Services. The Meatloaf Kitchen Legal Clinic assists our guests with issues from housing and tenant rights to benefits and immigration. Contact us if you need legal assistance. 


University Community Social Services (d/b/a The Meatloaf Kitchen) is a U.S. registered 501 (c) (3) tax exempt emergency food and social service non-profit organization. 2017.


Photo Credit: Kenneth Jackson 2015, Joseph Montano 2015.