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.


High Holy Days Food Drive

Monday, September 8 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Join us in the fight against hunger by running your own kosher food drive for City Harvest! Our fleet of trucks will pick up and deliver the food you collect to kosher food pantries across the city. Help City Harvest make sure no one in our city goes hungry this fall.

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 materials. Call 646.412.0758, email us or download 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.

Annual Food Drives

Feed the Kids Food Drive

May 11 - June 15, 2014

City Harvest's annual Feed the Kids food drive ran from Mother's Day to Father's Day to help provide much-needed food for New York City's children throughout the summer when access to school meals may become limited. Schools, organizations, companies, and New York City's Fire and Police Departments came together to collect non-perishable food donations.

Click here for more information on the 2014 Feed the Kids Food Drive.

Daily News Food Drive

October 24, 2013 - January 10, 2014

For nearly thirty years, City Harvest and the Daily News have partnered to host the Daily News Readers Care to Feed the Hungry Canned Food Drive, the largest food drive in New York City. New Yorkers across the five boroughs donate canned and nonperishable food at all of the police precincts and fire stations in the city, and hundreds of schools and companies run food drives to help City Harvest ensure no New Yorker has to go hungry during the winter months. This year's drive raised over 1 million pounds to help feed hungry New Yorkers! Thank you to the all the schools, companies, sponsors and supporters who helped make this year a success.

Click here for more information on the 2013-2014 Daily News Readers Care to Feed the Hungry Food Drive.