1.5 Million Hungry New Yorkers Face Bleak Holiday--City Harvest

1.5 million hungry New Yorkers in the face of the pandemic
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Photo: City Harvest

Thanksgiving is a time of expressing gratitude, overflowing plates with food, and gathering close to loved ones. This year, however, the holiday will be much different in the face of socially distanced safety protocols, heightened anxiety, and 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers in the face of the pandemic.  

City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization, has been responding to increased hunger across the five boroughs, even operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in honor of its commitment to ensure that no New Yorker goes hungry. This year, the organization is stepping up its annual holiday efforts like never before, especially as many New Yorkers are struggling with food insecurity for the first time.

Each year, City Harvest delivers thousands of free frozen turkeys to network food pantries, soup kitchen, and community partners. Last year, the food rescue distributed 12,000 turkeys across the five boroughs. This year, City Harvest will deliver a record-breaking 30,000 more pounds of turkey than it did last year in response to the amplified need throughout the city.

City Harvest also provides fresh produce in regularly occurring farmers’ market style settings across each of the New York boroughs, known as “Mobile Markets.” Here, New Yorkers in need can pick up nutritious food, including sweet potatoes, grapefruit, apples, cabbage, carrots, squash, collard greens, and more, at no charge.

This past Friday, the organization announced that it will be kicking off its annual Repack to Give Back event at its Food Rescue Facility today, Monday, November 16 through Friday, November 20. 

During the week-long event, City Harvest’s staff will pack thousands of family-sized bags in its warehouse, filled with fresh holiday-themed produce and canned items, including cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree, stuffing, and green beans, that will be delivered to food pantries and soup kitchens across the five boroughs in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

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