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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 nearly one thousand neighborhood pantries and soup kitchens. Until recently, there was little coordination between those suppliers. No one could truly know which food items were going where, much less whether food was reaching the neighborhoods that needed it most.

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 overall management of emergency food.

Today, the Collaborative has transformed the system by implementing new data-sharing practices that can more accurately identify the city’s most underserved neighborhoods and by helping local pantries build the capacity to distribute another 15 million pounds of food annually.

Watch to learn how enhanced collaboration and data-sharing is making it possible for more New Yorkers to ensure they can feed themselves and their families.