- Hunger in NYC
- Donate Food
- Donate Funds
- Restaurant Partners
For 30 years City Harvest has been working to alleviate hunger
in New York City.
As the world's first food rescue organization, we have connected hundreds of millions of pounds of good food that would otherwise have gone to waste with hungry men, woman and children throughout New York City.
The examination of long-term issues that surround hunger is the natural extension of City Harvest's work rescuing food. For many of the people we serve, healthy food is often unavailable or unaffordable in their communities. Diseases related to poor nutrition are often concentrated in neighborhoods where demand for emergency food is greatest.
City Harvest partners with those who are directly affected by hunger and diet-related diseases to address their underlying causes. Our food rescue work has expanded to include strategic initiatives to provide nutrition education, increase the availability of produce, and build the capacity of our agency network. We are also working to influence how government food programs are managed and funded in order to alleviate and prevent hunger.
Using a fleet of trucks, cargo bikes and volunteers on foot, City Harvest collects high-quality surplus food from restaurants, Greenmarkets, wholesalers, grocers, farmers, and manufacturers and redistributes it to a network of nearly 600 community food programs. These soup kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, daycares, shelters, and other agencies together help feed hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each week.
City Harvest strategically focuses our resources on low-income communities where affordable, healthy food is not readily accessible and where residents often suffer from high rates of diet-related diseases like diabetes and obesity. Our Healthy Neighborhoods program envisions communities where fresh produce is available, affordable and in high demand. We have identified communities with high rates of hunger and poverty for additional support—the South Bronx, the North Shore of Staten Island, Bed Stuy in Brooklyn, Washington Heights/Inwood in Manhattan, and Northwest Queens. By channeling additional deliveries of free fresh food and other resources to these areas and by working closely with local residents, organizations, and community leaders to improve access to and demand for nutritious food, we are creating a model of a healthy, food-secure neighborhood.
City Harvest’s nutrition education programs provide individuals and families in low-income communities with information to make healthy dietary choices. We offer Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters™ programs, in which culinary and nutrition professionals teach cooking classes focusing on nutrition and food budgeting to New Yorkers at risk of hunger. City Harvest’s Fruit Bowl introduces a regular supply of fresh fruit and low-fat milk to programs serving children combined with a unique nutrition education program designed to teach life-long healthy eating habits. Recognizing that senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, our Well Seasoned courses offer hands-on lessons in cooking, food safety, nutrition basics, and financial management.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are in high demand at community food programs, and produce secured directly from farmers enhances the nutritional value of City Harvest’s deliveries. Through HarvestWorks, we offer New York State growers incentives to harvest, pack, and deliver crops that might not be brought to market due to fluctuating prices and uncertain market demand. We also work with farmers at wholesale outlets and farmers markets within New York City to pick up produce that has not been sold at the day’s end and would otherwise go to waste.
City Harvest strives to improve the quality of life among low-income kosher observant seniors, immigrants, children, and families facing hunger through increased access to a wider variety of kosher food.
Many of the agencies City Harvest serves feed people every day but have few operational resources and struggle to stay afloat. They often face fundamental business challenges in data and financial management, customer service, and fundraising that prevent them from fully meeting the needs of their communities. Through our Agency Capacity Expansion (ACE) program, City Harvest works with selected emergency food programs to strengthen their overall ability to serve their communities. City Harvest offers these agencies grants for one-time projects, allowing them to upgrade their services and feed more people. These efforts enable them to offer enhanced services and, potentially, other social services that can help clients transition out of emergency food programs.