City Harvest COO Discusses Food Insecurity in New York City

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Jennifer McLean, Chief Operating Officer, City Harvest, who talks about food insecurity in NYC and how the company is dedicated to end hunger throughout the tri-state area.

1/16/2020 #2272






"We are pleased to welcome Jennifer McLean. She's Chief Operating Officer of City Harvest. Good to see you. Hi! Good to see you guys also. Tell everyone what City Harvest is. City Harvest is a food rescue. So our job is really finding food that would otherwise go to waste, in the city and beyond the city, and getting it on people's plates of people in need in New York City. How bad is the problem? We've interviewed some of your counterparts on the Jersey side of the river. They talk to us about how serious it is. How many people are, quote unquote, "food insecure?" Yeah. 1.2 million New Yorkers are food insecure. And that just means, "I'm not actually sure I'm gonna be able to feed my family this week, myself this week. I'm worried about having enough food." How many of them are children? There's about 400,000 that are kids. What? Yeah. 400,000? Are food insecure. So a lot of these households in New York City, it's really an issue of not having enough money to make ends meet. If you think about food, food is an elastic expense. So if you have to pay your rent, you have to pay medical bills, you gotta pay transportation, take care of whatever your challenges and your payments are, food is elastic. So if you're able to hold back for yourself, or skip meals, you know, your kids are getting fed at school, which is great, in New York City and other cities, but if you have to hold back, you can hold back a little bit on food. You can skip a meal... a lot of parents will skip meals themselves to make sure their kids have food. And so we want to alleviate that. So we're saying, there's all this extra food in New York City. In the country. How do we redirect that with logistics? Trucking? So we provide that service. Pick up that food and make sure it gets on people's plates tonight. Usually. So we put up the website right now. Yeah. Here's my question. Jennifer, how can people help? There's lots of ways they can help. First off, just understanding, what is hunger? I think people have a perception of what hunger looks like in their city. It's people that are working. It's people that are holding down a few jobs. It's the hardest working people, because they're trying to make it all work for themselves and their family. So understanding and having empathy for the people around them, that might not be making enough money to feed themselves and their family. You know, donating to places like City Harvest, and whoever is in your community that's working for the cause of feeding people. Food is a right. It's... you can't live without..."