Pantry visits also up 14% since January 2022 as Inflation Soared and Pandemic Government Supports Expired
Throughout September, City Harvest will Raise Awareness of NYC’s High Rates of Food Insecurity and Encourage New Yorkers to Take Action
September 1, 2022 (New York, NY) – Today, City Harvest, New York City’s first and largest
food rescue organization, launched Hunger Action Month with the release of alarming new
data revealing that monthly visits to New York City food pantries and soup kitchens
are up 69% compared to 2019 and rising, according to a City Harvest analysis of FeedNYC
As inflation and food prices surged to a 40-year high, NYC food pantries and soup kitchens
are now seeing 14% more monthly visitors than they did in January 2022. In response
to the high level of need, City Harvest will rescue and deliver at least 75 million pounds of
food this year, sustaining food rescue and delivery operations nearly 20% above
Average Monthly Visits to NYC Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens*
- 2019: 2,095,437
- 2022: 3,532,611
- Increase: 69%
Monthly Visits to NYC Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens*
- January 2023: 3,138,846
- June 2022: 3,575,272
- Increase: 14%
*City Harvest analysis of FeedNYC data
Hunger Action Month, which aims to raise awareness of food insecurity and invites the
public to take action to feed those in need, this year coincides with City Harvest’s 40th year
serving New York City. Founded in 1982, City Harvest began when a handful of New Yorkers
sought to support their neighbors in need by rescuing and delivering food in a borrowed
station wagon. Since then, the organization has rescued more than one billion pounds of
good, nutritious food and delivered it—free of charge—to hundreds of soup kitchens and
food pantries across the city. During the COVID-19 pandemic, City Harvest has rescued and
distributed more than 300 million pounds of food for New Yorkers in need.
“With prices surging for necessities like food, childcare, and rent, all New Yorkers have to
step up to help our neighbors in need,” said City Harvest CEO Jilly Stephens. “From the
White House hunger summit later this month to our work with our network of more than
400 partner food pantries and soup kitchens, this Hunger Action Month we will work with
countless everyday New Yorkers to ensure that all of our neighbors have the nutritious
food they need to thrive – one day, one meal, one New Yorker at a time.”
City Harvest’s partner food pantries have seen a significant increase in visits since the start
of 2022, when inflation took hold and vital government supports, like the federal Child Tax
Credit and rent moritoria, expired.
“We’re in a very scary situation,” said Rabbi Schlomo Nisanov, Founder and Leader of
Kehilat Sephardim Synagogue, one of the 400 food pantries and soup kitchens City Harvest
serves across the city. “Inflation is a big thing. Now, we have people struggling to feed the
most vulnerable, babies, and senior citizens, who are homebound and rely on themselves
to take care of them, which is very scary. I feel like things are going to get harder and
harder to get by.”
Throughout September, City Harvest and its partners will give New Yorkers multiple
opportunities to support the organization’s work and help feed their neighbors. Some of
our partner campaigns include:
- As part of our ongoing partnership with Two GoodTM lowfat yogurt, for every product sold in the month of September and year-round, the brand donates to food rescue organizations like City Harvest to help rescue food and redistribute it to communities in need.
- Mosaic Foods will donate 50 cents to City Harvest for every box of plant-powered meals purchased throughout the month of September in support of Hunger Action Month, and year-round as part of an ongoing partnership.
- Now through the end of September, in support of Hunger Action Month, W&P will donate $2.50 for every Porter Lunch Box sold to help feed 2 families in need.
- City Harvest Food Council members Roni Mazumdar and Chef Chintan Pandya—the duo behind Unapologetic Foods and the restaurants Semma, Dhamaka, and Rowdy Rooster—are giving back this Hunger Action Month by donating a portion of proceeds from select dishes and drinks at all three restaurants to support City Harvest’s work.
- Special thanks to PIX11, our Hunger Action Month media partner.
Key dates throughout the month include:
- September 12 through October 10: High Holidays Food Drive
- September 20: Celebrity Chefs & Friends Golf and Tennis Tournament
- September 23: Hunger Action Day
- September 28: Taste of Asia
Anyone can support City Harvest during Hunger Action Month by:
- Donating Funds: A generous friend of City Harvest, Denise Littlefield Sobel, is matching all gifts, dollar-for-dollar, up to $200,000, in honor of Hunger Action Month, to help us rescue and deliver twice as much food for our neighbors struggling with rising costs for food, rent, and other necessities.
- Donating Food
- Volunteering at a Mobile Market or Greenmarket Rescue
- Advocating for a more equitable food system
For complete information on all of City Harvest’s Hunger Action Month activities,
The public is encouraged to join the discussion online by tagging City Harvest on Facebook
(CityHarvestNYC), Twitter (@CityHarvest) and Instagram (@CityHarvestNYC) and using #WeAreCityHarvest
About City Harvest
City Harvest is New York’s first and largest food rescue organization, helping to feed
millions of New Yorkers who struggle to put meals on their tables. This year, we will rescue
at least 75 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food and deliver it—free of charge—to more
than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, community partners and our own Mobile Markets
across the five boroughs. We work alongside our community partners to boost community
capacity, expand nutrition education, and strengthen local food systems. For 40 years, City
Harvest has always been there to feed our city—one day, one meal, one New Yorker at a
time. To learn more, please visit cityharvest.org.