City Harvest

At a Glance

National Office: 
6 East 32nd Street 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 646-412-0600

Jilly Stephens
People Served: 
1,400,000
Year Founded: 
1982
Tax ID: 
133170676

Focus area(s):

Fitness & Nutrition

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Description

Now serving New York City for 34 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children.

This year, City Harvest will collect 55 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to some 500 community food programs throughout New York City by a fleet of trucks and bikes, helping to feed the more than 1.4 million New Yorkers that face hunger each year.

City Harvest also addresses hunger's underlying causes by supporting affordable access to nutritious food in low-income communities, educating individuals, families, and communities in the prevention of diet-related diseases, channeling a greater amount of local farm food into high need areas, and enhancing the ability of our agency partners to feed hungry men, women, and children

Impact and Outcomes

This year, City Harvest will:
Rescue and deliver 42 million pounds of food, including 25 million pounds of produce, to help feed hungry New Yorkers.
Expand our Healthy Neighborhoods initiative to Queens as we open a Mobile Market, launch nutrition education interventions, and complete an environmental scan of the food landscape.
Provide some 15,000 low-income individuals with increased access to healthy food as we distribute more than 1.6 million pounds of free, fresh produce through our Mobile Markets.
Help more than 30,000 low-income residents gain the knowledge to lead healthy lifestyles through nutrition education courses, cooking demonstrations, healthy recipes, and shopping workshops.
Improve the quality of food available in targeted low-income communities by providing technical assistance to 30 supermarkets and 12 corner stores as they increase the amount of healthy, affordable food for sale.

Mission & Goals

City Harvest's mission is to end hunger in communities throughout New York City. City Harvest does this through food rescue and distribution, education, and other practical, innovative solutions.

In early 2011 City Harvest finalized a five-year strategic plan to guide our work through 2016.  Data shows that the gap between the food that New Yorkers have and what they need is substantial. In response, City Harvest mapped out a growth strategy that called for City Harvest to double the amount of food delivered annually, to incorporate a Food Rescue Facility into the operations, and to invest heavily in the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative.

In the initial year of the strategic plan, significant progress was made and City Harvest is ahead of its original targets. The Food Rescue Facility became operational last fall, immediately and significantly expanding City Harvest's food distribution capacity. As a direct result of the facility’s impact City Harvest delivered more than 40 million pounds of food in Fiscal Year 2012, some 32% ahead of the original target of 30.5 million pounds. Of this 40 million pound total, some 24 million was fresh produce as City Harvest continues to emphasis the delivery of as much healthy food as possible. The impact of the facility has been enormous – an additional 10 million pounds of food for New York City last year that City Harvest wouldn’t have been able to rescue and deliver without the Food Rescue Facility.To support the continued programmatic expansion, City Harvest asks that you make an investment in the strategic vision as the organizations responds to the hunger needs of low-income New Yorkers.

Program

Emergency food rescue and distribution is the heart of City Harvest. With a fleet of 22 trucks,  City Harvest rescues food that would otherwise go to waste from thousands of donors and distribute it, free of charge, to nearly 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community feeding programs. This year, to help meet the growing hunger needs of low-income New Yorkers, City Harvest will deliver at least 55 million pounds of food, including more than 27 million pounds of produce to the agency network. As deliveries continue to grow, City Harvest is focusing on getting the right amount and types of food to agency partners so that they can feed their neighbors healthfully.

While helping to meet immediate needs across the city, City Harvest recognizes that ending hunger in particularly hard-hit communities requires a deeper investment. City Harvest's geographically focused approach to hunger, the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, envisions the transformation of low-income areas into communities that provide the food and resources needed to support healthy diets. Healthy Neighborhoods targets low-income areas with high rates of diet-related disease and works to create communities where nutritious food is available, affordable and in demand. The Initiatives combines deliveries of healthy emergency food with nutrition education and work with businesses to provide the food and resources needed for a healthy diet.

  

Impact

Fiscal Year 2012, the initial year of the strategic plan, called for significant investment in City Harvest’s capacity to set the stage for programmatic growth. Specifically, City Harvest:

  •  Incorporated a new Food Rescue Facility into the operations. As a result, City Harvest surpassed the original target by 30% as the organization delivered a record 40 million pounds of food, including 24 million pounds of produce. At the same time, City Harvest was able to reduce food rescue and delivery costs by $.03 per pound.
  • Expanded the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative. Year one of the strategic plan called for the expansion of the initiative to a fourth borough. City Harvest identified Washington Heights / Inwood in Manhattan based on a series of indicators including rates of poverty, hunger, and diet-related diseases.
  • Supplied a consistent source of fresh produce for low-income communities. Through the bi-monthly Mobile Markets, City Harvest distributed more than 865,000 pounds of fresh produce, free of charge, helping to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for 3,300 low-income New Yorkers in high-need communities. 
  • Provided New Yorkers with tools to support a healthier diet. City Harvest taught children, adults, and seniors how to prepare nutritious meals, incorporate fresh produce into their diets, and shop wisely on a budget through nutrition courses, cooking demonstrations, and shopping workshops. Together, these interventions reached more than 12,000 residents, increasing awareness of healthy habits and helping people to make positive changes to their diets.

 

City Harvest utilizes evaluation to provide real-time learning, enhance the effectiveness of their work, and ensures they provide the best service possible to the people and communities they serve. City Harvest programs operate under multi-year plans and utilize formal quarterly reports to monitor progress, which provide a valuable opportunity to learn from the work. City Harvest also contracted with external evaluators, to understand the impact of their work and found that:

  • The Mobile Market leads to behavior change. More than 80% of respondents eat more fruits and vegetables and nearly 70% are making positive changes to their shopping habits.
  • Cooking demonstrations translate into action. Over 85% of the participants that were surveyed replicated recipes at home. 
  • Fresh produce positively impacts diet-related disease. Some 25% of Mobile Market clients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes reported improvements in their health conditions.

Growth Plan

Growth Plan

City Harvest’s Board of Directors endorsed two key strategic goals that will help City Harvest achieve their vision. In five years:  

  1. City Harvest will distribute 50 to 60 million pounds of free, emergency food per year.
  2. City Harvest will play a leading role in addressing the health and nutrition needs of low-income New Yorkers through our Healthy Neighborhoods program.

1. Food Distribution

Over the life of the plan, City Harvest will rescue and deliver 205 million pounds of food, including nearly 125 million pounds of fresh produce, to soup kitchens and food pantries across the city. To achieve this vision the organization must build the infrastructure needed, both for City Harvest and within New York City’s emergency food network, to distribute more food.

 Investing in a Food Rescue Facility

It will not be possible to grow our poundage so dramatically using trucks alone. City Harvest will be incorporating a Food Rescue Facility into the operations to address this growth constraint. Key to this work will be an investment in our technology, including an inventory management system, upgrades to the data systems, and handheld devices for drivers.

 Strengthening the Emergency Food Network

City Harvest is creating a more sophisticated, multi-tiered distribution model to ensure that the programs they work with can absorb the additional food they will deliver. This new model considers the service levels to areas of high need, poverty rates, and the current and potential capacity of agencies, while identifying tangible, concrete ways that City Harvest can improve their ability to operate. City Harvest's plan to strengthen and revitalize New York City’s emergency food network will ensure that the get the most food, most efficiently, to the strongest agencies in the highest need communities. City Harvest hopes this approach will serve as a model for emergency food distributions across the country.

2. Building Healthier Communities

The strategic planning process identified the niche that our Healthy Neighborhoods initiative occupies: City Harvest's focus on communities, combined with nutrition education and food access work, is unique and well-designed to address the complex challenges of community nutrition. As a result, City Harvest is deepening their investment in Healthy Neighborhoods.

Deepening Investment

City Harvest will continue to invest heavily in existing communities in the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and the North Shore of Staten Island.  In each neighborhood, the organizations plans to increase emergency food deliveries and add a second Mobile Market to improve access to healthy food. To strengthen demand, City Harvest will focus all of the nutrition education programs in the Healthy Neighborhoods and continue to build partnerships that will make improvements to the food environment.

Expanding Efforts

City Harvest will also bring this focused approach to two additional communities. In the initial year of the plan, City Harvest worked to identify neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens based on a series of key indicators including poverty, hunger, and diet-related diseases. Washington Heights / Inwood and Northwest Queens were selected based on its high level of need and City Harvest is in the process of extending Healthy Neighborhoods to these boroughs.

Economic Plan

The five-year strategic plan calls for City Harvest to nearly double in size as they significantly expand both the emergency food deliveries and Healthy Neighborhoods. To support the organization’s programmatic growth, earlier this year City Harvest launched the 30-30-30 Campaign. In the 30th year, the Campaign supports the following five-year goals:

  • Increase annual food deliveries by 30 million pounds, to some 60 million pounds, using a new food rescue facility in Queens.
  • Expand Healthy Neighborhoods to increase access to nutritious food and encourage healthy eating behaviors for hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers.
  • Raise an additional $30 million over the course of the five-year campaign to support the planned growth and expanded operations.

To date, City Harvest secured some $12 million, or 40% of the Campaign goal, including seven-figure investments from two key institutional funders, Robin Hood and The Starr Foundation, and three individual donors (including two City Harvest board members).

Location of Sites

National Office: 
6 East 32nd Street 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 646-412-0600
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$3,392,407
Foundation Grants: 
$7,057,147
Government Funding: 
$952,721
Contributions from Individuals: 
$10,885,761
Special Events: 
$3,341,367
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$76,781,167
Other Revenue (Description): 
1. Other revenue includes in-kind donation of food ($80.3m), funds from organizations ($406k), and investment income ($86k). 2. Other revenue includes in-kind donation of food ($76.4m), funds from organizations ($361k), and investment income ($60k).
Total Revenue: 
$102,410,570

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$15,629,023
Occupancy: 
$1,869,868
Travel & Entertainment: 
$4,516,718
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$212,655
Telephone & Communications: 
$1,619,234
Payments to Affiliates: 
$1,309,272
Other Expenses: 
$77,633,421
Other Expenses (Description): 

Other expenses include in-kind donation of food ($69m), food distribution and packaging costs ($3.8m), additional in-kind services ($1.3m), marketing and promotion ($789k), and a range of other smaller expenses including training and development, insurance, parking, etc. 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$102,790,191

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$-379,621

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$5,010,051
Foundation Grants: 
$9,185,825
Government Funding: 
$609,433
Contributions from Individuals: 
$10,561,730
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$84,474,420
Other Revenue (Description): 
Other revenue includes in-kind donation of food ($66.1m), funds from organizations ($1.4m), other in-kind services ($1.6m) funds from our Green Fleet Fund ($255k), and investment income ($261k).
Special Events: 
$2,815,300
Total Revenue: 
$112,656,759

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$13,983,610
Occupancy: 
$1,687,040
Travel & Entertainment: 
$4,862,390
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$326,146
Telephone & Communication: 
$1,429,460
Payments to Affiliates: 
$2,022,964
Other Expenses: 
$83,884,449
Other Expenses (Description): 

Other expenses include in-kind donation of food ($65m), food distribution and packaging costs ($3.85m), additional in-kind services ($1.67m), marketing and promotion ($716k), and a range of other smaller expenses including training and development, insurance, parking, etc.

Total Expenses: 
$108,196,059

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$4,460,700

Major Funders

In City Harvest's three decades of operation, they relied on the generosity of our supporters, with some 40,000 donors helping make their work possible last year. As an overwhelmingly privately funded organization, City Harvest has five revenue streams that each generates more than $3 million a year, providing a strong, sustainable base of support from which to grow the organization and its programs, with significant support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and through special events. Last year, City Harvest raised more than $8 million from individuals and some of their most critical corporate and foundation donors including:

American Express, Barclays, BlackRock, Booth Ferris Foundation, Citi, The Clark Foundation, Credit Suisse Americas Foundation, Duane Reade, Feeding America, FJC, Newman's Own Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, Robin Hood, The Starr Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Trustees' Philanthropy Fund at Fidelity Charitable, and Vital Projects Fund.