The NYC Organization Providing Restaurant-Quality Meals to Thousands in Need

EV Loves NYC cooks up 2,000 meals a week.

EV Loves NYC began in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, when food banks, cafes, and restaurants were closing down across New York City. Since 2020, it has evolved into a nonprofit that makes 2,000 meals a week.

“The food that we serve is the highest quality,” Sasha Allenby, EV Loves NYC’s co-founder, told NowThis. “We've got chefs from all the different communities in the city. So we represent different cultures through our food. We want people to feel that just because they're food insecure, they shouldn't get a low-quality meal. It should be really high-quality stuff that we want to eat.”

Each Sunday, groups of volunteers gather to cook. The day begins at 8 am with the prep teams. Then, at noon, the serving team arrives and begins to put together the meals. After everything is done, another team arrives to clean up.

Credit: NowThis

On the day NowThis visited the kitchen, chef Stephanie Thomas was executing her menu: creamy tofu noodles, Dan Dan noodles, bok choy — and a simple chicken dish for those who might prefer that option.

“We accommodate many dietary restrictions and cultural diversity,” Thomas said. “So we're conscious to have something that can be halal- or kosher-friendly, versus people having more of a desire for pork because culturally, it's what they're used to in their dishes.”

Once the 2,000 meals have been prepped, they are distributed throughout the five boroughs. EV Loves NYC has teamed up with 65 organizations that are on the ground in the city’s neighborhoods with the most food insecurity.

“I know that we're not saving the world by doing this work,” Allenby said. “We're just touching a tiny, tiny little part of the city. But I think the thing that I enjoy the most is that feeling like a wave of love is going out across the city and feeling like there's people that are out there that we won't ever see that's gonna open the food, and [they are] gonna eat something, and [they are] not gonna be hungry just for a minute, just because of the work that everybody's doing as a collective here.”