SUNSET PARK — Whoopi Goldberg, the self-proclaimed “truck driver for City Harvest,” is unlikely to be driving any trucks for the organization in Sunset Park, but now that the group has leased a new warehouse in the neighborhood, an increased number of its food delivery vehicles are likely to be spotted on local streets.
In fact, City Harvest has been helping to feed the hungry in New York neighborhoods since 1982 and it has been instrumental in gathering surplus food to help those who are struggling to make ends meet in order to feed themselves and their families.
On Thursday, January 16, real estate development firm DH Property Holdings and JLL Realtors confirmed the closing on the sale of 150 52nd Street in Sunset Park, which they will lease to City Harvest for its new headquarters. The new multilevel warehouse of the new City Harvest Food Rescue Facility and administrative offices totals approximately 150,000 square feet excluding truck court, loading bays and parking.
The site search began two years ago when City Harvest’s current Food Rescue Facility in Long Island City, Queens, was rezoned from industrial to residential just a few years before the organization’s lease was scheduled to terminate.
City Harvest saw the need to relocate to a larger, more versatile facility that would better serve the organization in its quest to rescue and deliver food to nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers.
“City Harvest rescued over 63 million pounds of food in 2019 and we project that the need will increase in 2020 and beyond,” said Jilly Stephens, City Harvest CEO.
“Thanks to the support of our board of directors, the diligence of our team at JLL and to DH Property Holdings, we are thankful to be able to provide more resources for the significant population of New Yorkers who rely on us to get dinner on the table for their families,” Stephens added. “In the coming months we will have more specific information about this exciting project.”
City Harvest has been dedicated to feeding hungry New Yorkers for more than 35 years and has rescued and delivered over 750 million pounds of food for New Yorkers in need during that time.
According to the organization, with two out of every five households struggling to make ends meet and 23.1 million visits to food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency food programs in New York City last year, City Harvest’s work is vital to help feed New Yorkers in need every year.
Community Board 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer called City Harvest a lovely organization with a great purpose. “City Harvest is a widely-respected organization,” he told this paper. “Our board has a great deal of positive feelings about them and we’re happy to be their new home.”
Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, who has worked with City Harvest and backed legislation to help direct food surpluses to food banks and schools, called the arrival of City Harvest a great addition to his district in Sunset Park. “Over one million New Yorkers may go hungry every year, including many vulnerable children,” Ortiz told this paper.
“City Harvest has a proven track record serving those without food on their plates. Its new offices in Sunset Park will be a welcome addition to our progressive community of families and neighbors,” added Ortiz.