As New York City has emerged as a leading epicenter in recent weeks in the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the public sector has joined forces with the private sector in a number of ways to help mitigate some of the worst possible outcomes of the crisis. While much of the public discourse has been around ensuring critical access to medical supplies and making sure the most medically vulnerable are protected, many other efforts have been stood up to ensure that other vulnerable populations continue to be taken care of in a time of crisis – including the food insecure.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is New York City’s primary economic development arm, driving the growth of affordable, sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods, and investing in industries that continue to strengthen the city’s economy. Now, NYCEDC is working as part of a broader city-level response team to deliver meals to vulnerable New Yorkers and keep the food supply chain flowing so that all New Yorkers have access to food in the coming weeks and months.

On a pro bono basis, FourKites is providing the organization with raw data to help the NYCEDC monitor the food supply chain across New York City. By tracking daily stops that shippers are making to zip codes within the city, FourKites is helping the city better understand where there may be geographic disparities or product-level trends over time that need further investigation.

The work of NYCEDC is incredibly important. By pairing FourKites data with other emerging insights that the team is extracting from other data sources and stakeholder conversations, the NYCEDC and its partner organizations can more effectively keep food flowing throughout New York – especially to the most vulnerable populations that have the least access to grocery stores. We’re so grateful that we can play a helpful role by providing technology and support to the NYCEDC and its interagency partners in this critical time.

As another aspect of its food supply chain work, the City of New York is also closely monitoring interstate trucking, and coordinating with regional and national trucking associations, port authorities and FEMA to ensure that truck drivers continue to be able to access the city and bring product in. As part of that effort, NYC has stood up two new temporary truck rest areas for drivers, and is working with FourKites to push notifications and updates regarding these new rest areas to all drivers within 50 miles of New York City via CarrierLink, our free mobile driver app.

During this pandemic, the supply chain has seen its share of volatility, from dramatic spikes in shipments to hours-long wait times at facilities. Given its sheer size and density, it is no surprise that New York has felt this volatility more dramatically than other cities. Thanks to the exemplary work of heroic individuals and organizations, strained supply chains have largely held up, successfully transporting essential goods to where they need to be. The NYCEDC and its partner agencies are an indispensable part of that equation for New York City, and their work demonstrates the value of supply chain technology during times of crisis.

For other organizations involved in the COVID-19 relief efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to find a way to help. 

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