Whether you’re new to Plentiful or have been using the service for a while, we’re here to answer any questions you may have!
Getting started with Plentiful
What is Plentiful?
Plentiful is a completely free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. Families find pantries and get the food they need, without waiting in line. Pantries get better data, are more organized, and provide better service.
Plentiful is currently available to only New York City-based food pantries. If you are a food pantry or food bank located outside of New York City, please feel free to send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my pantry use Plentiful?
Plentiful is currently available to any food pantry in New York City. If you own or operate a food pantry in New York City, please submit an application and schedule a workshop HERE.
Nope! You can use Plentiful on any computer, tablet, or mobile device that can surf the web. Most of our pantries prefer Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers on a lightweight laptop, tablet, or cell phone. All you need to do is go to pantry.plentifulapp.com and sign-in. Plentiful works the same on any device you use, just formatted differently!
How much does Plentiful cost?
Nothing. Plentiful is completely free for food pantries in the five boroughs of New York City.
How can I get low-cost internet access for my pantry?
If you already have internet in the building, extend Internet access to your client check-in location by purchasing and installing a Wi-Fi router or extender. Contact your Wi-Fi provider for more information. If you do not have internet access, many internet providers offer low cost services for nonprofit organizations. If your pantry is in New York City, contact email@example.com to learn how to find affordable internet providers for your food pantry.
Who made Plentiful?
Plentiful is a project of the New York City Food Assistance Collaborative. The New York City Food Assistance Collaborative a coalition of public and private organizations working to alleviate hunger in New York City. Collaborative members include the NYC Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, City Harvest, United Way of New York City, the New York City Human Resources Administration - EFAP, and the New York State Department of Health Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program. Learn more about the Collaborative here.
Does Plentiful require me to collect sensitive information about my clients?
No. We designed Plentiful to work best with just a client’s name, phone number, zip code, household size, and birthday. This information is stored away in our database and can only be found if you have the client's name or phone number. Other than that, we keep their information hidden unless you have added them to your pantries service. Besides the information above, any other information that you choose to collect is kept private and accessible only to administrators at your pantry.
Is my data safe with Plentiful?
Plentiful takes privacy seriously. We use industry standard best practices for data security and in April 2019 we commissioned a data security audit to ensure that Plentiful data is absolutely safe.
Does Plentiful require a client to provide a phone number?
No. A phone number makes Plentiful much easier to use. It allows clients and pantries to communicate and fully take advantage of our Reservation features. It also helps to find a client based on their cell phone, which is very unique compared to a first or last name. Clients greatly benefit if they provide an accurate cell phone number . Client's will receive a text message from Plentiful, and they can easily find food pantries in their neighborhood. If your clients have any questions, you can download our Client Usage Guide here which can give them more information on how to utilize Plentiful.
How can I learn more?
We are happy to provide more answers that our website does not provide! It is best to contact our Client Adoption Lead, Darren Jones at: firstname.lastname@example.org. He's the best in the field and fairly responsive! He is happy to schedule trainings, video chats, or even a phone call!
How can I find food pantries for my clients?
You can always refer clients to food pantries using our the Android App, SMS, or even our website. At this time, we do not allow clients to make a reservation on our website. Visit our Plentiful for Families page to learn more!
In your Pantry Profile, choose “Schedule” from the left panel. Scroll to the service date you’d like to cancel and click the three dots on the far right. Select “Cancel Service.” Don’t forget to notify your clients by sending a message!
How do I add a new visitor in Plentiful?
How do I update or Correct a Client's Information?
Can I see whether my clients are using other pantries?
No. Pantries cannot see information about clients’ use of other pantries, because we believe in client privacy.
Can I serve clients who have not registered in Plentiful?
Yes. Using Plentiful is never required to receive food. If a client does not want to register, we recommend adding them by name only.
Can I use Plentiful to communicate with my clients?
Yes. Plentiful allows you to send a message to any client who has opted into messages and has used your pantry in the past 61 days. You can send direct messages to individual clients, or blast messages to all of your clients.
You can also message clients who are:
- Families with Children
- Upcoming Reservation
Login to your pantry account and choose “Messages” on the left panel. It will walk you through the rest of the steps to get started.
Is Plentiful available in multiple languages?
Clients can use Plentiful for Android and SMS in 9 different languages:
At this time, Plentiful for Pantries is only available in English.
Does Plentiful allow clients to make reservations?
Yes. Pantries can choose from multiple types of reservations, including walk-up, day-of reservations, and advance reservations. Pantries can use one reservation style or choose a different style for each service.
Can my clients designate a representative to pick up their food?
Yes. Plentiful allows you to easily add a pick-up representative to a client’s profile.
Do you have anything to help me tell my clients about Plentiful?
Yes! We offer free Plentiful brochures, posters, registration cards, and other resources in multiple languages. Below, you can find a few links to online resources. Client Guide Pantry Guide If your pantry, social service agency, or school is in New York City, you can request professionally printed materials at email@example.com.
Can my non-English speaking clients use Plentiful?
Yes! Clients can use Plentiful for Android and SMS in 9 different languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Urdu, Bengali, and Korean. Most of our print materials are also available in some of these languages.
Can my clients opt-out of Plentiful messages?
Yes. Only clients that have opted in receive messages from Plentiful. However, clients can change this at any time by texting “STOP” to 729-879. Or, pantry representatives can update a client profile to turn “Receives Messages” off.
Can my clients designate a representative to pick up their food?
Yes. Plentiful allows you to easily add a pick-up representative to a client’s profile. An icon will pop-up next to their name to identify they have a pick-up representative! To add a pick-up representative, open up your client's profile. Scroll down to the section labeled Pick-Up Representative . Here, you can add a name or number. After you are done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save .
Do clients have to register with Plentiful to receive food?
No! Using Plentiful is never required to receive food.
Can my clients register themselves on Plentiful?
Yes, and we encourage it! Anyone can register with Plentiful by texting “FOOD” to 726-879 or by downloading the Plentiful app for their Android device at the Google Play store here.
How can I find a food pantry and make a Reservation? (Texting Only)
We ease the process to find food and make a Reservation! To text in, just respond with ONLY the corresponding number. You will be given a list of options, and you only need to text back the number next to the number. For example, if you receive the following message: 1. Reservation Food Pantry 1 2. Reservation Food Patnry 2 3. Reservation Food Pantry 3 You will only respond "2" for "Reservation Food Pantry 2". You will continue this process untl you have made a Reservation at your favorite food pantries!
Do you have any guides to show me and my family how to use Plentiful?
Yes, we do! You may find Plentiful is easy to use, and sometimes its too easy we forget how to use it! Please feel free to download this guide to help you navigate Plentiful.
Plentiful for Social Service Agencies
My clients do not have cell phones or internet access, how can I show them where they can find food pantries?
Our Plentiful Map shows all active food pantries in New York City. Simply click and drag the map to find food pantries in different parts of the city. Plentiful will give you the most accurate hours of operation and addresses.
Can I receive any handouts to give to my clients, students, or friends?
Yes. Feel free to message us at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain some handouts. When you reach out, please let us know: the name of your organization, your name, and the best place to send it to.
Can we use Plentiful Reservations for our Social Service Agency?
Sadly not at this time. Plentiful can only be used by food pantries in New York City. However, if we plan to create functionality for social service agencies, we will be happy to let you know. Email us for inquiries at: email@example.com .