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Mission & History

Our Mission

The New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) represents and is the voice for the more than 1,100 nonprofit soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City and the 1.4 million low-income New Yorkers who live in households that can’t afford enough food. The coalition works not only to meet these residents’ immediate food needs but also to enact innovative solutions to help society move “beyond the soup kitchen” to ensure economic and food self-sufficiency for all Americans.

Our History

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.

For comprehensive information about NYCCAH programs and our ongoing progress in the fight against hunger, download NYCCAH's Annual Report. For a hard copy of this report, please email