City Harvest is looking to reach even more hungry New Yorkers thanks to a new, 45,000 square foot facility in Long Island City. NY1’s Roger Clark filed the following report.
Workers loaded potatoes into trucks early Tuesday morning for a mobile market on Staten Island. It’s part of the operation at the new City Harvest Food Rescue Facility in Long Island City.
"It gives us the ability now to process at a minimum 83,000 pounds out the door," said Dave Levy, City Harvest's vice president of distribution, transportation and logistics.That's food that City Harvest gets from restaurants, markets and farms. The organization transports it to 600 food programs around the five boroughs. At 45,000 square feet, the distribution space is 15 times larger than their former spot in Brooklyn.
"What this facility brings us is the ability now to bring the not all of the product but the majority of the product here, separate it, and actually send it out, so our agencies do get more of a mixture of product rather than just what was being picked up that same day," said Levy.
One of the other features of this facility is this 4,000-square-foot freezer, which keeps the temperature at zero degrees.
There’s also a massive cooler for produce, an area for dry goods like cereals and canned goods, and a giant space where volunteers will be able to re-pack food from farms or canned food drives.
"It also is going to be equipped with a kitchen where we can actually help educate people about nutrition education and how to stretch their dollar when they're at a grocery store,” said Jennifer McLean, vice president of programs.
City Harvest hopes the facility will help them double the amount of food they can rescue and distribute. That number is currently 30 million pounds each year. The organization says that will help them feed more hungry New Yorkers.
"What we are seeing is that agencies are seeing 25 percent more visits since 2008 to now, so that's a 25 percent more need in the city for people needing food," said McLean.
For more information on City Harvest or to make a donation, visit cityharvest.org.