NYC Food Czar Kathryn Garcia on Feeding 1.5M People a Day

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

How do you feed 1.5M of people every day? NYC Department of Sanitation commissioner and recently appointed food czar Kathryn Garcia talks to Billy Shore about leading the city’s massive and complicated hunger relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s really been the sheer scale and magnitude of how many people are in need. Not any one piece of it is necessarily difficult in and of itself, but the scale is really massive,” says Garcia. “We’re a city of incredible variation. We need to be able to deliver the right food at the right time… People want to eat the food that comes from their culture, and if it doesn’t, they may not eat what you deliver to them,” she notes.

With more than 500 public schools distributing food every day, Garcia reflects on what she’s learned about school nutrition programs. “There are specific funding streams that drive the development of the programs, rather than being more kid focused. What works for [the kids] rather than what works for reimbursement?,” she asks.

Join us for this important discussion about tackling food insecurity on a massive scale during a crisis.

Resources and Mentions:

Kathryn Garcia

Commissioner
Kathryn Garcia is the 43rd commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation. Commissioner Garcia joined the Department as a tested manager with extensive operations experience. Since joining Sanitation in 2014, Commissioner Garcia has led several key initiatives including producing and releasing the Department’s first Strategic Plan. setting key environmental goals to send zero waste to landfills, and implementing a modernized citywide snow response structure that has improved emergency response during winter storms. A lifelong New Yorker, Commissioner Garcia returned to Sanitation after serving in several roles at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, where she was ultimately appointed Chief Operating Officer. Commissioner Garcia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

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