Even a rainstorm couldn’t stop legendary hip-hop artist Nas from returning to his hometown of Queens.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, the Grammy winner headlined the Concert to Feed NYC at Forest Hills Stadium to benefit City Harvest, New York City’s first and largest food rescue organization.
The funds raised were enough to feed more than 2.5 million New Yorkers in need for a day and will help the organization rescue and deliver nutritious food during a time of historic food insecurity across the city.
Native New Yorker DJ Cassidy, a world-renowned maestro, record producer and creator of the groundbreaking series, “Pass The Mic,” kicked off the night with an electric hourlong musical journey celebrating New York.
“We are grateful to our longtime friend Nas and to DJ Cassidy for partnering with City Harvest to raise enough funds to help us feed nearly 2.5 million New Yorkers struggling to put meals on their tables due to the pandemic,” said Jilly Stephens, CEO of City Harvest. “At a moment when food insecurity rates continue to be at record highs throughout our city, we are proud to partner with them to bring fresh, nutritious food to thousands of families across the five boroughs.”
Celebrities in attendance included television personality and entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel, model and City Harvest Champion Brooks Nader and rapper and record-producer Slick Rick.
The Concert to Feed NYC also featured VIP Speakeasy suites and mini-lounges with menus curated by City Harvest Food Council Members, including from Chef Angie Mar from her latest restaurant Les Trois Chevaux, and exclusive culinary offerings from Matt Katakis’s Butcher Bar, Simon Kim and David Shim’s COTE Korean Steakhouse, Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Prandya’s Rah and Melba Wilson’s Melba’s. They were joined by Nas’s favorite, Lauren Gustus’ Sweet Chick.
After the show, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards presented Nas with an official key to the borough of Queens. He also presented the key to 10 City Harvest frontline workers who worked tirelessly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to rescue and deliver more than 200 million pounds of nutritious food to New Yorkers in need — more than double the amount of food the organization rescued and delivered over the same time period pre-pandemic.
And Nas didn’t just get a key — the Richards also declared Sept. 23 as Nas Day in Queens.
Samlyn Capital founder, Rob Pohly, who underwrote all venue-related expenses for the event, said, “It was inspiring to see City Harvest, Nas, DJ Cassidy, members of New York City’s restaurant community and every day New Yorkers come together to help feed our neighbors in need during this critical time.”