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NY FOOD 2025

Vision, Research and Recommendations During COVID-19 and Beyond

Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy and The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and have joined forces to monitor and assess New York City’s food system response to COVID-19 to date and over the next 18 months. The Center’s have collaborated to produce the first independent assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on our food system and an assessment of the many public and private responses. 

In this first report of NY Food 2025, the Centers examined the effects of the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences on New York’s food system and the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers. The Centers also discussed the creation and early implementation of some of the City’s responses to COVID-19 related food system changes and offered concrete actions that public officials and agencies, civil society groups and others can take with a focus on how to minimize the harms and maximize the opportunities to address the underlying problems the pandemic has exacerbated.

The report recommends possible steps the City can take to minimize the inequitable distribution of burdens of the pandemic by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. Finally, it suggests strategies to enable New York City’s food system to respond to a possible resurgence of the epidemic in the future or to utilize new opportunities to open and rebuild the City.

The full text of the report is available at the link below. A recent op-ed in the Daily News summarizes the key take away messages.


Acknowledgments: The following individuals, listed in alphabetical order, helped prepare this report: Alexina Cather, MPH; Yvonne Chow, MFA; Nevin Cohen, PhD, MCRP; Elizabeth Eilender, MS, RD; Ann Ebrecht, PhD; Katherine Tomaino Fraser, MSPH, RD; Nicholas Freudenberg, DrPH; Melissa Gallanter, RD; Rositsa Ilieva, PhD; Pamela Koch, EdD, RD; May May Leung, PhD, RDN; Julia McCarthy, JD; Yvette Ng, MS MBA; Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH; Sarah Shapiro; Raynika Trent, MS, EdM; and Craig Willingham, MPH.

Thank you to our funders (in alphabetical order): Community Food Funders, North Star Fund (and for all their coordination) Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund Lily Auchincloss Foundation Merck Family Fund New York State Health Foundation Shachar Foundation The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation

Suggested Citation: New York Food 20/20: Vision, Research, and Recommendations During COVID-19 and Beyond. Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, and The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. September, 2020.

Read the Phase One Report

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"We stopped shopping online sometime around the end of April when people started doing these food delivery programs for people who were having a hard time getting the food. . . . We were scared before the food deliveries started because wherever we went online everything would just be sold out, we couldn't order the food that we needed, and we were too scared to go outside."

 — 46-year-old, Elmhurst/Corona (Queens)



“I’m a single mom, I have three small children . . . . I already have a weakened immune system. I’m a cancer survivor. I was born HIV positive, so my immune system is already compromised and now I gotta battle COVID.”

— 36-year-old woman, with multiple health issues (including testing positive for COVID), Belmont (Bronx)

“When the pandemic started well, yes... we were afraid because when we began to see that there was a shortage in the supermarket and yes, yes, we were afraid that there would not be food. But . . . after we stayed in for a month and we began to see that there were organizations that were helping with food, we stopped feeling fear due to the lack of food.”

 — 28-year-old woman, Elmhurst/Corona (Queens)

Food Policy Centers


CUNY Urban

Food Policy Institute

NYC FPC JPEG Large.jpg

Hunter College NYC

Food Policy Center

Laurie M. Tisch

center for Food, 

Education & Policy

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