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Digital technologies—such as online food pantry ordering systems and SNAP online pilot projects for grocery shopping—are increasingly being explored as tools to facilitate food access and reduce food insecurity. The twin public health and economic crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated these trends and intensified the need to use online technologies to provide basic social services in both urban and rural regions. With 48 US states now part of the USDA SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot and a growing number of digital applications and platforms being established to better support emergency food providers in New York City and across the US, this urban food policy forum will ask what role these emergent digital technologies can play in reducing hunger and food insecurity in the post-COVID-19 transition and beyond. On May 27, 2021 join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited guests for this virtual forum and discussion.


  • Darren R. Jones, NYC Client Adoption Lead, Plentiful; Manager, Pantry Capacity and Operations, United Way of NYC
  • Molly Pfaffenroth, Senior Director, Government Relations, National Grocers Association
  • Thomas Neve, Executive Director, Reaching-Out Community Services
  • Nevin Cohen, Research Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Associate Professor, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy


  • Craig Willingham, Deputy Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
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