Food Rescue

City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization. Since City Harvest started rescuing food in 1982, we have collected and delivered over 545 million pounds of food, and prevented over 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas from being produced – which is the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road for a year.

Food rescue is the process of safely recovering a surplus food from the supply chain and distributing it to people in need. Not only does food rescue help ensure that millions of Americans have access to quality meals, it is also key to helping combat food waste.

In the United States, up to 40% of the food we produce goes to waste. More than 30 years ago, City Harvest recognized that by redirecting good, excess food to our neighbors in need, we can fight hunger through food rescue.

City Harvest will collect 55 million pounds of excess food from restaurants, grocers, bakeries, manufacturers, and farms, and deliver it free of charge to 500 community food programs across the city this year, helping to feed the nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger each year.

To learn more about how our food rescue model works, click below.

Organizations across the country, including Massachusetts and California, and around the world, from countries such as Greece, England, Argentina, and Australia, continue to look to City Harvest for best practices in food rescue.

Where We Rescue The Food

Using our fleet of 22 refrigerated trucks, City Harvest collects excess food that would otherwise go to waste from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, bakeries, farmers markets, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms.

City Harvest has over 2,500 generous food donors. See the complete list here.

City Harvest also relies on New Yorkers across the city who organize food drives in their schools, apartment buildings, businesses and places of worship. For more information on starting a food drive, click here.

Where The Food Goes

City Harvest regularly delivers food to 500 soup kitchens, food pantries and other community food programs across New York City, helping feed the nearly 1.4 million people who face hunger each year.

City Harvest's Kosher Initiative addresses hunger in the Jewish community. Since 2002, City Harvest has rescued and delivered more than 25 million pounds of food to a network of some 30 kosher agencies across the five boroughs, helping to feed more than 1.5 million visitors annually.

See the network of agencies that City Harvest serves here.

Our Food Rescue Facility

City Harvest's 45,400 square foot Food Rescue Facility in Long Island City, Queens gives us the ability to rescue and deliver large amounts, and a great variety, of nutritious food. The Facility is outfitted with a large cooler and freezer to safely hold perishable food until it is loaded onto our trucks and a large dry storage area to stock non-perishable goods.

Take a virtual tour of our Food Rescue Facility on GoogleMaps.

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