New York City is a matrix of misfortune and millionaires. Between good luck and greed and inequality and those arrested for weed, life just isn’t fair in New York City. At the center of these extremes and juxtapositions and injust paradoxes is food: the ultimate symbol of your security and vulnerability as a person or family. And these packages of sandwich rolls say it all: What is apparently perfectly good food for some is garbage others. This is beyond trash and treasures. This bread tells the stories of millions of New Yorkers, both rich and poor.
It is important not to assume context and misinterpret this situation, but on the surface, this appears to be a clear misalignment of needs and resources. Regardless of context, this image, if anything, symbolizes our need and opportunity to do better. It’s one thing not to have resources for those in need; it is another to have those resources and simply throw them in the trash.
Food insecurity in New York City is 12% higher than the national rate. This is, however, a winnable battle. For more information on how you can help, visit Food Bank for New York City, City Harvest, and Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy, or the Food Assistance Program at NYC.Gov.