Improving the Healthfulness of New York City’s New and Improved Emergency Food Program
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
September 25, 2023
Approximately 1 in 10 New York City residents are food insecure, and 1.4 million rely on New York City’s emergency food system.
Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are the best long-term way to address hunger; however, benefit amounts are often insufficient and families sometimes have to rely on the emergency food system. In 2022, New York City revamped the Community Food Connection, an emergency food program that offers both shelf-stable and fresh foods. Equity Advocates worked with the Westside Campaign Against Hunger, Met Council, and other partners through the New York Food Policy Alliance to educate officials on the benefits of permanently including fresh produce in the emergency food system. Together, they successfully advocated for $30 million in new funds, bringing the City’s total emergency food investment up to $52 million and allowing it to provide fresh fruits and vegetables permanently. While policy changes are crucial, the ultimate test for success will happen during implementation. In 2023, NYHealth awarded Equity Advocates a grant to lead an education and advocacy campaign to increase investment in New York City’s emergency food program, and ensure it is effectively and equitably implemented so community-based organizations and food-insecure New Yorkers have access to the high-quality food they need.
Under this grant, Equity Advocates will use its New York Food Policy Alliance, a multi-sector group of more than 75 stakeholders, to lead an education and advocacy campaign to ensure equitable implementation of and increased funding for the new Community Food Connection program. Equity Advocates will lead advocacy workshops for Alliance members and engage with and educate local leaders about the new program.