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Aetna Voices of Health Competition

City Harvest


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City Harvest

Food rescue is the process of safely recovering excess food and distributing it to people in need. Here in the United States, up to 40% of the food we produce is wasted. Much of this food is perfectly good and healthy to consume.

City Harvest is New York City's largest food rescue organization, helping to feed the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. We will rescue 64 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community partners across the five boroughs.

By redirecting it to our neighbors in need, we are fighting hunger through food rescue. Our programs empower individuals through nutrition education, and strengthen the local food system, helping New Yorkers who are experiencing food insecurity to access, afford, and consume nutritious food.

City Harvest works with residents, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and other community partners across New York City to ensure all New Yorkers have access to nutritious food. Our community-tailored programming reaches New Yorkers across the five boroughs through our Mobile Markets, nutrition education classes, Healthy Retail work, and Community Actions Networks.

We have refrigerated trucks that are on the road seven days a week, picking up food from over 2,500 food donors. We deliver this food, free of charge, to hundreds of community partners. In 1 year, our trucks drive approximately 250,000 miles across the five boroughs.

City Harvest helped start the food rescue movement in 1982 when a group of New Yorkers saw that New York City had an abundance of food, while a large number of its residents struggled to feed themselves and their families. We recognized the practical purpose that this surplus food could serve if directed to New Yorkers in need.

Because of this group, led by Helen verDuin Palit, Jason Kliot, and several other New Yorkers who were troubled by the large numbers of neighbors who didn't have enough to eat, and the amount of good quality excess food going to waste, the idea of food rescue was born. They reached out to restaurants and retailers, enlisted friends, borrowed cars, and set up a hotline. With only volunteers for the first seven months, many thousands of pounds were collected and delivered to soup kitchens and food pantries.

Over the next 36 years, the organization grew. City Harvest has since rescued and delivered over 750 million pounds of nutritious food for hungry New Yorkers.

Our contact info:

City Harvest

6 East 32nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(646) 412-0600