Jilly Stephens, chief executive officer of City Harvest, spoke to our donors recently about the unprecedented demand to deliver free healthy food to New Yorkers in need.
City Harvest was created in 1982 to rescue food that would otherwise be thrown out and feed hungry New Yorkers. It is the largest food rescue nonprofit in the city today, helping to feed 1.9 million people each year, though because of the pandemic, the demands on its services have sharply escalated.
Irfan Hasan, our program director for health and behavioral health, spoke with Ms. Stephens about the emergency plans City Harvest put into effect during the pandemic, what she is seeing at distribution sites, and how staff is dealing with the continuing need across the city. City Harvest received a grant from our Emergency Fund.
“It’s a staggering number of people…”
In this clip, Ms. Stephens discusses the increased demand for food in the city:
“The most difficult thing was when our own drivers began to get sick from COVID.”
In this clip, Ms. Stephens recalls the pandemic’s effect on staff:
“When we speak to recipients it is always humbling.”
In this clip, Ms. Stephens tells the stories of the recipients of City Harvest’s food:
“They are communities that have struggled for decades with racial inequity.”
In this clip, Ms. Stephens discusses the racial disparities of food insecurity:
“We expect the need to be there for many, many months to come.”
In this clip, Ms. Stephens looks at the future demand for food services:
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