Press & Media

Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen Have Served Over One Million Meals to Frontline Workers at 16 Public Hospitals in New York City Caring for COVID-19 Patients

Program Made Possible by $6 Million Contribution from Mike Bloomberg has Provided 33,000 Meals a Day from 30 Local Restaurants and Employed 400 Food Service Workers

New York, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen today announced that together they have served more than one million meals over the past six weeks to 30,000 healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Since this partnership launched with a $6 million gift from Mike Bloomberg on April 15th, workers at 16 facilities of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the country, were served fresh, daily meals. More than 30 local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks were paid to serve gourmet meals to the hospitals’ doctors, nurses, facilities staffers, police officers, janitors, and visiting medical staff and military personnel. More than 400 NYC food service employees who had lost jobs during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were put back to work.

The undertaking included adhering to strict social distancing and health guidelines while New York City’s hospital workers managed enormous pressures to save lives and stop the spread of the virus. Working in close collaboration, World Central Kitchen, NYC Health + Hospitals, and Bloomberg Philanthropies devised the safest and most expedient ways to serve protein, kosher, halal, and vegetarian meals at 11 acute care hospitals and five post-acute long-term care facilities across New York City seven days a week.

“Our partnership with Chef José Andrés and his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, has provided fresh, daily meals to thousands of health care workers at 16 of New York’s public hospitals and long-term care facilities – and I’m glad to say we’ve now served more than one million meals,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, three-term mayor of New York City. “Our health care workers embody the very best of our city, and this was a small way of showing our appreciation as they work under incredibly stressful conditions. We’re glad to support them, and we will never forget all that they’re doing to take care of us.”

“Like Mike Bloomberg, we at World Central Kitchen work to find smart solutions to big problems. Seeing the impact we have made together attacking this crisis on two fronts—buying meals directly from local restaurants and caterers to keep them up and running and their teams working, and serving those meals to nourish the tireless heroes at NYC Health + Hospitals—shows just how powerful a change agent food can be,” said Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen.  “We are grateful for and honored by Mike’s support as we continue to deliver hope and strength, one plate of food at a time.”

“We are overwhelmingly grateful for Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen’s contributions to our fearless healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “We’re humbled and honored that over 30,000 meals fueled our workforce as they provided lifesaving support to New Yorkers, as well as supported our communities by providing business to local restaurants and establishments in this unprecedented time.”

For a video marking the occasion, with testimonials from frontline workers, restaurant owners, Mike Bloomberg, and World Central Kitchen founder chef José Andrés, click here.

Broadway star Jay Armstrong Johnson, best known for his roles in Phantom of the Opera and ABC’s Quantico, along with cellist Sam Quiggins, helped celebrate the 1 million meal milestone by performing a selection of songs to frontline heroes during lunch at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx on Friday, May 29th. Photos are available here.

The NYC Health + Hospital facilities receiving the meals were: Hospitals: Bellevue, Metropolitan, Harlem, Jacobi, Lincoln, North Central Bronx, Kings County, Coney Island, Woodhull, Elmhurst, and Queens; Post-Acute Facilities: Carter, Coler, Gouverner, and McKinney.

Restaurant partners from New York’s five boroughs and New Jersey include:  Albert’s Mofongo, Amma Homestyle Indian, Baby Brasa, The Beatrice Inn, Belfiore Catering, Cafe Nunez, Cava, Corazon de Mexico, Du’s Donuts, Eat Offbeat, Elegant Affairs Catering, FieldTrip, Fresko, Gomi Korean Wine Bar, HoneyFlower Foods, Kings Street Bakery, La Palapa, Lemons and Olives, Made in New York Pizza, Medi Wine Bar, Mercado Little Spain, Motorino,  New York Food Truck Association, The Bronx Nomad, Norm’s Pizza, Ornella Trattoria, Promobile in Brooklyn, Queensboro, Queens Bully, Ravel in Queens, Tissierie, and Upside Pizza.

Mike Bloomberg’s support for this partnership is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies COVID-19 Response Initiatives which were launched in March to give public health professionals and local leaders around the world the tools to protect themselves and the public. These initiatives are vital to saving lives and helping mitigate the kind of economic and social damage that could make this crisis even more debilitating for families and communities. Learn more about Bloomberg Philanthropies work to fight the pandemic here.

World Central Kitchen, the international not-for-profit organization founded by chef José Andrés in 2010, uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities in times of crisis and beyond. The meals provided to the NYC H + H facilities are part of its Restaurants for the People response to the coronavirus crisis. Since WCK’s COVID-19 response began in March, they have served over 11 million meals – 300,000 a day – to students, families in need, seniors, and frontline healthcare heroes, and helped over 1,800 restaurants remain operational.  To make a donation to further the Bloomberg Philanthropies and WCK program to feed frontline workers at NYC Health + Hospitals, and to support WCK’s #ChefsForAmerica activation providing emergency food relief efforts to those affected by COVID-19, click here.

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation, serving more than one million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the five boroughs. Their mission is to care for all regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. In this COVID-19 crisis, their dedicated, brave workforce of more than 42,000 employees are on the front lines caring for New Yorkers in Emergency Rooms, ICUs, community health centers, and nursing homes. To donate to a fund providing aid to NYC Health + Hospitals staff who are facing financial hardship as a result of this pandemic, please click here. For more information on NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID-19 responses, please visit their newsroom.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.

About World Central Kitchen:
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond. WCK has transformed the field of disaster response to help devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. Since its founding, WCK has served more than 20 million meals to those impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world in countries including Albania, The Bahamas, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Mozambique, Venezuela, and the United States. Learn more at WCK.org.

About NYC Health + Hospitals:
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.

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Press Contacts:
For Bloomberg Philanthropies: Rebecca Carriero, rebeccac@bloomberg.org
For World Central Kitchen: Chloe Mata Crane, press@wck.org
For NYC Health + Hospitals: Karla Griffith, pressoffice@nychhc.org