COVID-19 Response

As New York City continues to grapple with the devastating fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, City Harvest is committed to feeding all of our neighbors—one meal, one day, one New Yorker at a time.

Since the beginning of the crisis, City Harvest has rescued and delivered, for free, more than 124 million pounds of food—an increase of 101% over the same period last year.

As we look toward the uncertain months ahead, City Harvest is committed to nearly doubling our operations—rescuing and delivering 144 million pounds of nutritious food to help feed our neighbors by July 2021, a 100% percent increase over the prior year’s projections.

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Read or download our report of our first six months feeding NYC in the wake of a pandemic:

During the pandemic, we have significantly boosted our capacity:

  • We partnered to open 29 Emergency Food Distribution Sites in high-need neighborhoods, particularly where community food programs have been forced to close. At the emergency distribution sites near hospitals and medical centers, we continue to feed frontline health care workers.
  • Even as federal pandemic supports like expanded unemployment benefits, SNAP boosts, and eviction protections expire, we are rescuing record amounts of food through our warehouse where we are also repacking hundreds of thousands of pounds of food into family-sized bags each week to ensure safe distribution. 
  • Our fleet of trucks is on the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week rescuing and delivering food.
  • Our Mobile Markets are maintaining their schedules and continuing to distribute free, fresh produce and nutritious shelf-stable foods to families across the five boroughs. Since March, we have distributed 4.8 million pounds of food through them to more than 109,000 New Yorkers. 

Even before COVID-19, 2.5 million working-age New Yorkers were struggling to make ends meet. Now, New York City’s food insecurity crisis is getting even worse.

  • The economic fallout of the pandemic has left more than one in five New Yorkers unemployed.
  • The number of New York City residents facing food insecurity will balloon by 38% during the pandemic, according to projections from Feeding America. Among our city’s children, food insecurity is expected to spike by 49%. 

City Harvest has always stepped up to feed New Yorkers in times of crisis. We are committed to feeding everyone who was relying on us before the crisis and every New Yorker—many seeking food assistance for the first time—who needs help now and during the uncertain months to come.

We asked some of our neighbors—participants, volunteers, City Harvest staff—to share their stories of life in pandemic-era New York. Hear how their lives have changed.

The best way to support City Harvest’s work is by donating funds, so we can continue to swiftly respond to the increasing and unprecedented need.

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.