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To interview Joel berg, our executive director, other members of our staff, and/or food pantry and soup kitchens staff, volunteers and clientele, contact Theresa Hassler at 212-825-0028, ext. 212 or via email at Thassler@nyccah.org.
By the early 1980s, hunger in New York City had become unbearably severe. Religious organizations and charitable agencies had long served their neighborhoods in relative isolation; despite the heroic efforts of these groups, their ad hoc approach had inherent limitations. Many began to realize that soup kitchens here and there could relieve, but not end, the problem of hunger in New York City.
Community leaders from all five boroughs met in April 1983 and concluded that the best way to tackle hunger in the city was with a unified organization that helped emergency food providers and pushed for long-term solutions. In this spirit, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger was born.
The Coalition's original mission was to "coordinate the activities of the emergency food providers in the city so that issues can be identified, prioritized and addressed effectively." Though its aims have expanded and evolved over the last two decades - for example, it has strengthened advocacy and legislative efforts and now provides national service participants to emergency food providers - food access for all New Yorkers has always remained the Coalition's animating goal.