New York, NY – June 27, 2018 – City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization, received a $540,000 grant from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to fund all deliveries of rescued food in the Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods of Manhattan. As City Harvest’s first neighborhood sponsor, the Cohen Foundation will help City Harvest deliver over 2 million pounds of nutritious food to residents in Washington Heights and Inwood.
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has been a generous and consistent supporter of City Harvest since 2009, as demand for emergency food in New York City remains at record levels and the number of New Yorkers facing hunger is still more than pre-recession. New Yorkers in underserved communities, like Washington Heights and Inwood, can be more than twice as likely to face hunger, poverty and diet-related illnesses as residents in other parts of Manhattan. Nearly one-third of residents in Washington Heights and Inwood live in poverty, and over half live in rent-burdened homes. To meet this need in Washington Heights and Inwood, and all across New York City, City Harvest will rescue 59 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of community food programs.
“Growing up in Washington Heights, I felt like I was part of a larger community,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “My parents taught us to respect everyone and to help our neighbors and even strangers if they needed it. It is our pleasure to become City Harvest’s first neighborhood sponsor and support their mission to feed hungry New Yorkers in a place I will always call home and made me who I am today.”
This grant funds City Harvest’s work to rescue over 1 million pounds of food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to 10 food pantries and soup kitchens in Washington Heights and Inwood. It also allows the organization to distribute nearly 900,000 pounds of free, fresh produce this year, and provide nutrition education programs such as cooking demonstrations and blood pressure screenings, through their two Mobile Markets in the neighborhood, reaching nearly 3,000 residents. This gift also makes it possible for City Harvest to provide nearly 100,000 pounds of healthy snacks for 1,558 children in Head Start programs, pre-schools and afterschool sites.
“The food we get from City Harvest has allowed many kids to have access to fresh fruit on a daily basis. It has allowed them to try new fruit that they had never eaten before,” said Mary Sanchez, Director of Administration at Fresh Youth Initiatives, a City Harvest partner in Washington Heights. “We are a small afterschool program, and thanks to City Harvest, we are able to provide something that wasn’t affordable for us – fresh fruit and yogurt daily. The kids are excited to take fruit home. Many of the families have trouble feeding their kids altogether, let alone receive fresh fruit.”
“New York is a city that has so much, and it is unthinkable that so many of our neighbors do not have enough food for themselves and their families,” said Jilly Stephens, City Harvest’s Chief Executive Officer. “In Washington Heights and Inwood, over 13% of residents are food insecure. City Harvest was founded by neighbors helping neighbors, and the Cohen Foundation’s leadership and generosity, as our first neighborhood sponsor, will help us deliver over 2 million pounds of nutritious food and continue to support this community.”
About the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is committed to inspiring philanthropy and community service – with a special interest in the arts, children’s health, education, veterans and Lyme disease – by creating awareness, offering guidance and leading by example to show the world what giving can do. For more information, please visit the website or follow on Facebook and Twitter.
About City Harvest
City Harvest pioneered food rescue in 1982 and, this year, will collect 59 million pounds of excess food to help feed the nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers struggling to put meals on their tables. Through relationships with farms, grocers, restaurants, and manufacturers, City Harvest collects nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it free of charge to 500 soup kitchens, food pantries and other community food programs across the five boroughs. In addition, our Healthy Neighborhoods initiative addresses long term food insecurity through community partnerships that work to increase access to affordable and wholesome food. To learn more about food rescue, Healthy Neighborhoods and fighting hunger in New York City, visit cityharvest.org.