Going Far Together: the NYC Food Assistance Collaborative

Each year, nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on emergency food assistance. The delivery of that assistance requires a complex network of food suppliers who distribute food to a thousand neighborhood pantries and soup kitchens. Until recently, however, there was little coordination between those suppliers. No one really knew what food was going where, much less whether it was reaching neighborhoods where it was needed.

In 2015, working with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, the Helmsley Charitable Trust convened the key players in emergency food assistance – City Harvest, United Way of New York City, New York City Human Resources Administration, and the New York State Department of Health-Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). Together, they formed the New York City Food Assistance Collaborative, setting out to change and improve the system.

The Collaborative has transformed the system, enabling data-sharing to identify the city's most underserved neighborhoods and help local pantries build the capacity to distribute another 15 million pounds of food annually.

Watch to learn how successful collaboration is making it possible for more New Yorkers in need to feed themselves and their families.