Hungry for a Solution: New York City’s Food Assistance Collaborative Unites to Sate Complex Issue



Imagine you're hungry. But your kitchen shelves are bare. You have some money, but it's not enough to pay the bills coming due and to make a grocery run. You're determined to get ahead—to thrive. But right now you're struggling. And you won't get ahead without food. You have to face it. You need immediate support. 

Each year, nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers don't know from where their next meal will come. They rely on emergency food assistance. And in a city of 8.4 million people delivering 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, we came together with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, City Harvest, New York City Human Resources Administration, and the New York State Department of Health-Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). Together, we 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.



Read more about the Food Assistance Collaborative 

Read more about United Way of New York City's FeedNYC initiatives