For the first in City Harvest's 40-year history, the organization has brought all its operations to one 150,000-square-foot facility in Sunset Park, reports NY 1. The new City Harvest Cohen Community Food Rescue Center is now expected to rescue and deliver over 75 million pounds of food this year.
"What our volunteers do is they help break that down into family-sized portions, and then we distribute that food around the community with the help of our soup kitchens and our food pantries," City Harvest volunteer programs manager Olivia McMahon said.
As monthly visits to New York City food pantries and soup kitchens have risen by 69% since 2019 and continue to increase, the new Brooklyn center will allow City Harvest to distribute twice as much food across the five boroughs. In addition, the new facility comes with a bigger loading dock, climate-controlled storage areas and indoor and outdoor event space.
The new headquarters will also include a storefront programmed in partnership with the local Sunset Park Community.
“City Harvest was born when a handful of New Yorkers stepped up to tackle food waste and hunger at the same time and help feed their neighbors in need,” CEO Jilly Stephens said.
“Forty years later, our food rescue operation has moved from the back of a station wagon to become a pillar of New York City, rescuing and delivering more than a billion pounds of food to our neighbors in need.”
The new center opens just as more New Yorkers are struggling with food insecurity, turning to soup kitchens and food pantries, which saw 14% more monthly visitors by the end of 2022. And as the need for emergency food systems continues to grow far above pre-pandemic levels, the new space will allow City Harvest to meet the needs of New Yorkers one meal at a time.
"We're just planning for the future,” McMahon continued.
“We want to make sure that we can help feed as many New Yorkers as possible, and we are only getting busier.”
Learn more on City Harvest's website.