COVID-19 Response

Designated an essential service by Governor Cuomo and New York State, City Harvest, New York City’s private response to hunger and largest food rescue organization, has mobilized to feed children, families, and all of our neighbors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic causes the city and the global economy to come to a halt, we’re already seeing unemployment rise rapidly. Even before the crisis, 2.5 million working-age New Yorkers were struggling to make ends meet, and in the coming weeks and months, many more will experience crippling financial hardship, especially with schools and so many businesses forced to close.

City Harvest is committed to feeding everyone who was relying on us before the crisis, and to meeting the increased need as the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 becomes a reality. We’re also working hard to ensure that, while schools are closed, children and their families can put meals on their tables.

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We have adjusted our operations in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and to meet the need:

  • Our trucks continue to be on the road, rescuing and delivering food for community food programs across the city. We’re focusing on shoring up programs that serve large numbers of children and families.
  • Our Mobile Markets, which have already seen a 30% increase in attendance, are maintaining their schedules and are continuing to distribute free, fresh produce to families across the five boroughs.
  • Our volunteers and staff are repacking thousands of pounds of shelf-stable food and produce every week at our Food Rescue Facility into family-sized portions for distribution to community food programs and our Mobile Markets.

From now until June 30, 2020, City Harvest will rescue and deliver over 20 million pounds of nutritious food to meet the increased need during the COVID-19 crisis.

City Harvest has always stepped up to feed New Yorkers in times of crisis—including 9/11, the recession, Superstorm Sandy, and the partial federal government shutdown last year. We have always been neighbors helping neighbors, and together we can feed our city during this crisis—one meal, one day, one person at a time.


In times of need, New Yorkers step up. Join us and help make sure everyone in our city has access to fresh, nutritious food during this time of crisis.

Check Out Highlights from our COVID-19 Response

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