Photo of Sophie Drew
Senior Procurement and Logistics Coordinator, City Harvest
For many, food is a source of joy, community, and even heritage, but for a growing number of Americans, access to the food necessary to feed themselves and their families can also be a source of great distress. This is where Sophie Drew, Senior Supply Chain Coordinator at City Harvest, comes in. City Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in New York City. Drew and her colleagues work daily to collect surplus food from restaurants and direct it to New Yorkers who need it.
“Between June 2020 and June 2021, we rescued and delivered 154 million pounds of food for families in NYC,” explained Drew. “While I know this is not a cure for the flaws in our nation’s food system, it feels great to have made a measurable difference.”
Learning about different aspects of both the domestic and global food systems and the United States’ logistics network has long been a keen academic interest for Drew. She is especially drawn to the role of economics in the food space and beyond.
“I knew since early in my academic career that I wanted to bring business and operations management principles to a non-profit organization or social enterprise,” said Drew. “My academic and extracurricular work led me to explore my interests in community development, food retail, consumer packaged goods and organic farming.”
As a senior in the Newcomb Scholars Program, Drew studied the Globalization of Mexican Food Retail, deepening her interest in food systems and the ways they often evolve to produce more waste, thus rendering them less effective in feeding all members of a given society. She also studied operations and logistics abroad in Colombia through Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
“I am grateful to have had the freedom and guidance from Newcomb professors, Dr. John Trapani of the Freeman School, and my fellow Scholars to study something so specific that ultimately ties into what I do now,” expressed Drew. “All of these learning opportunities have helped me gain both tangible skills that I use in my work and a wider lens through which to view it.”
Drew sees herself driving the food sourcing strategy of an organization someday, whether it is a food bank, hospitality group, grocery store or private labeling company.
“I want to continue developing relationships with vendors and make creative decisions that minimize food and transportation waste.”