Philanthropists’ $20M donation will help City Harvest establish ‘food rescue hub’ in Sunset Park

May 6, 2021 Raanan Geberer
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Cohen Community Food Rescue Center to be 150,000 sq ft

City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization, has received a $20 million donation from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to help establish a new hub for its food rescue and delivery operations in Sunset Park.

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City Harvest “rescues” excess, unused food from restaurants, grocers, bakeries, Greenmarkets, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers and farms. It then delivers the food to soup kitchens, food pantries and community food programs throughout the city. 

It also operates its own “mobile markets” in every borough, including one twice a month at the Tompkins Houses in Bed-Stuy.

City Harvest’s new food rescue hub at 150 52nd St. in Brooklyn will be named theCohen Community Food Rescue Center in recognition of the gift. Steve Cohen is well-known as the owner of the New York Mets (interestingly, another Steven Cohen is vice president of the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones).

The planned move to Sunset Park, announced and reported on in the Eagle in January 2020, was named the Number 3 “mega-lease” for Brooklyn and Queens in December 2020 by The Real Deal, a well-known real estate publication.

City Harvest volunteers sort canned and nonperishable goods at a previous food drive. Photo courtesy of City Harvest
City Harvest volunteers sort canned and nonperishable goods at a previous food drive. Photo courtesy of City Harvest

The new multilevel warehouse for the new City Harvest Food Rescue Facility and administrative offices totals approximately 150,000 square feet, excluding truck court, loading bays and parking.

Alexandra Cohen, president of the foundation, commented, “We are so excited to partner with City Harvest on their new building and support their efforts to feed thousands of hungry New Yorkers. COVID-19 has not let up yet, and we know the recovery will take significant time and effort.”

“Thanks to the generous gift from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, City Harvest will be here to help feed everyone depending on us today and through whatever challenges our city will face in the months and years to come,” said Jilly Stephens, City Harvest’s CEO.–>

City Harvest’s acquisition of the Sunset Park warehouse was well-received locally when it was announced. Brooklyn 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 the Eagle. “Our board has a great deal of positive feelings about them, and we’re happy to be their new home.”

“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 then-Assemblymember Felix Ortiz.

The nonprofit decided to move from its original facility in Long Island City after the old site was rezoned from industrial to residential.

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