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Nonprofit Gets New Yorkers to Stop and Notice Hunger

Hal Conick

New Yorkers walk the streets in a rush. A marketing campaign by Crossroads Community Services aims to slow them down and make them notice the city’s hunger problem.  

Goal

New Yorkers are famously unyielding in their daily walks down busy sidewalks. There’s not much that can distract them from the goal of getting from point A to point B. Crossroads Community Services, a nonprofit New York City homeless shelter, food pantry and soup kitchen open since 1889, wanted to make New Yorkers stop in their tracks with its Erase Hunger Project campaign.

To help get New Yorkers to stop—or at least slow down—Crossroads worked with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness to get New Yorkers to see homelessness and hunger anew. In the process, Crossroads wanted to motivate city residents to volunteer, donate or become aware of Crossroads Community. To accomplish this, Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative team aimed to make thinking about homelessness and hunger less disturbing and more relatable for the average New Yorker. 

Food was the obvious place to start, says Carolyn Gargano, creative director of art at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. New Yorkers love food—there are approximately 24,000 restaurants in New York City alone—but residents often end up eating on the same street as someone who hasn’t been properly fed in days. To illustrate this point, statistics from City Harvest show that nearly 1.4 million people​—about 18% of the city’s population—face hunger every day.

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Hal Conick

Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.