Mayor Bill de Blasio is pledging to make sure no one goes hungry during the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the pandemic’s onset, the city has served over 32 million meals across all programs and by next week, will be delivering over 1 million meals per day.
This is in addition to the city’s school grab-and-go program, which serves over 500,000 meals per day at over 500 schools across the city.
“We are laser focused on ensuring no New Yorker goes hungry,” de Blasio said. “We’ve built a massive operation in just a few weeks and have already provided over 32 million meals since this crisis began and this is just the beginning. If any New Yorker needs food, we are here for you.”
The city has monitored the food delivery system and continues to learn and make adjustments as needed. The administration is working with 30 food providers and is actively hiring and expanding nonprofit and for-profit providers to increase capacity, variety and cultural-competence.
While this is emergency food to ensure no New Yorker goes hungry, the city also ensures meals meet nutrition requirements. For the senior meals program, for example, meals have sodium limits and required servings of protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Due to scale, some vendors are providing shelf-stable boxes, while others offer fresh food or frozen food. If food quality does not meet the program’s standards, the city addresses it directly with the food providers and has ended contracts with those who were not living up to their commitment.
“This is an enormous operation set up to meet a need the scale of which is hard to imagine, and I’m tremendously proud of our team across city agencies,” said Kathryn Garcia, commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation and the city’s COVID-19 Food Czar. “We have very high standards here, this is emergency food, but it must be healthy, nutritious food. We’re working with farmers, caterers, restaurants, and non-profits to do what we can to get it right every time.”
Read more about the plan to feed New Yorkers in need at nyc.gov/feedingnyc and access food resources at nyc.gov/getfood. New Yorkers who encounter issues can get help at nyc.gov/GetFoodHelp or call 311.