Donate Food

Food Drives

All over the city, New Yorkers help feed their hungry neighbors, by organizing food drives in their schools, apartment buildings, businesses and places of worship. Please join them, and help City Harvest feed New York City's hungry men, women, and children.

Daily News Food Drive

October 21, 2014 - January 16, 2015

City Harvest and the Daily News join forces to run the Daily News Food Drive, collecting nonperishable food to stock city food pantries and soup kitchens.

Click here to learn more!

How to Plan a Food Drive

- Choose collection sites that are both highly visible and secure.
- Call 646.412.0758 or email us to arrange a pickup date for City Harvest to collect the donations. City Harvest will send one of our food rescue trucks to pick up donations of more than 100 pounds. Please give one or two names as contacts for our drivers, to make sure the pickup runs smoothly.
- Put up City Harvest food drive posters at the collection sites a week or two before the start of the drive--we'll supply the posters, just call 646.412.0758, email us, or download the poster here.
- All types of canned and packaged goods are welcome, but no perishable foods please! This helps keep your collection site insect-free and ensures that all food collected is safe for consumption.

The most needed foods are:

  • canned fruit
  • canned vegetables
  • peanut butter (plastic jars)
  • mac and cheese (packaged)
  • hot and cold cereal (packaged, family-sized)

The following donations will feed a family of four for a day:

  • Breakfast: Box of cereal or oatmeal; dried fruit; powdered milk; 100% fruit juice.
  • Lunch: Tuna, peanut butter, or soup; canned vegetables; canned fruit.
  • Dinner: Any canned protein (i.e. beef stew, chicken), or meat sauce; macaroni & cheese, pasta or rice; canned fruit or applesauce.
  • No glass, please, with the exception of baby food!
  • City Harvest collects food exclusively, though we can recommend programs which accept clothes and toys.

Be creative with your food drive and HAVE FUN!

Tips for Planning a Food Drive

Get the word out:

  • Establish a goal: If you held a food drive before, try to increase this year's total by 25%, and let people know the goal so they're a part of it!
  • Advertise: with posters, announcements, and flyers. City Harvest can supply you with posters. Call 646.412.0758, email us or download a poster here
  • Send an email to employees every day during the week(s) of your drive. Try doing it before they go out to lunch, and provide a list of stores in the neighborhood where they can buy non-perishable foods.
  • Set up collection boxes in high-traffic areas.
  • Give each participant a bag or box to take home and fill with food.
  • Create a paycheck insert, which includes food drive information.

Challenge them! People respond to a challenge and often work harder to reach their goal if there is an element of competition. Here are some suggestions:

  • Find another company or another department to challenge. Set the "stakes" high and everyone will want to play to win!
  • Offer a prize for the group that brings in the most donations, such as letting the winning department wear casual attire for a day.
  • Make each day of one week of the competition a designated food day: Macaroni Monday, Tuna Tuesday, Wheat Cracker Wednesday, Tomato Soup Thursday, Dried Fruit Friday.
  • Have various departments responsible for each of the food groups (i.e. one department collects canned meats, another collects pastas and sauces, etc.)
  • Ask your corporation to match employees' food donations with a cash donation to City Harvest. For every pound of food employees donate, your corporation can pledge $1 (or more!) to City Harvest.
For more information or to schedule a food pickup, please call 646.412.0758 or email our Food Sourcing Team.