City Harvest Fights Against Food Insecurity and Hunger Throughout New York City

by Gabrielle Khalife
Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: City Harvest

What they do:  City Harvest helps feed the nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers facing hunger by rescuing approximately 160,000 pounds of food daily (59 million pounds projected for 2018). The organization also advocates at the city, state, and federal levels for policies and actions to alleviate hunger and food insecurity, and to ensure access to healthy and affordable food for all New Yorkers.

How they do it: Through relationships with farms, restaurants, grocers, 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.

Mission:  City Harvest works towards ending hunger in communities throughout New York City. They do this through food rescue, distribution, education and other practical, innovative solutions.

Latest project/campaign: City Harvest recently piloted new distribution models to get more food to neighbors in need by (1) creating mobile food distributions for communities that do not have existing community food programs and (2) delivering food to soup kitchens and food pantries just in time for their distribution hours, eliminating the need for storage. They opened three additional Mobile Markets  between 2016 and 2017 and currently operate a total of fifteen throughout the five boroughs. Mobile Markets are open-air farmers’ market-stye direct distribution venues that offer free, fresh produce to residents in low-income communities, Each market serves about 500 residents.

Major Funding: 99 percent of donations come from private sources, although City Harvest occasionally receives small yearly grants from government sources.

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: $115 million

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system:  City Harvest takes a long-term approach to hunger relief through its Healthy Neighborhoods initiative. In communities with elevated rates of food insecurity, poverty, and diet-related illnesses, the organization has developed programs and partnerships to increase the availability of affordable, fresh produce and inspire healthy, budget-conscious meal choices through nutrition education.



6 East 32nd Street

5th Floor

New York City, NY 10016

Core Programs: Healthy Neighborhoods: This program works at the local level with community organizations, schools, and businesses to find long-term solutions to food insecurity in the area.

Number of staff: 150

Number of volunteers: 10,000

Areas served: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens

Year Started: 1982

Director: Jilly Stephens

Contact Information:


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