NYC Food by the numbers: Changes in poverty, food insecurity, and SNAP Participation in NYC

by nycadmin

NYC Food by the numbers: Changes in poverty, food insecurity, and SNAP Participation in NYC

New Yorkers’ participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, increased 71.1% between June, 2006, before the recession, and June, 2013. This long term upward trend has finally reversed. Across-the-board benefit cuts that took effect in November 2013 reduced the average grant per household, and increases in employment made some previous participants ineligible. We provide some figures to help clarify.

  • NYC SNAP participation, June 2013: 1.9 million (1)
  • NYC SNAP participation, June 2014: 1.78 million (1)
  • Decline 06/13 to 06/14:  118,000 persons or 6.3% (1)
  • Nationwide decline, 06/13 to 06/14: 2.6% (1)
  • Decline in total NYC SNAP benefits FY 2013 to FY 2014: $244,000,000 (6.9%) (1)
  • NYC SNAP participation September 2014: 1.74 million (2)
  • NYC unemployment rate August 2013: 8.8% (2)
  • NYC unemployment rate September 2014: 6.8% (2)
  • Number of people in NYC homeless shelters: October 2014: 56,000 (record high) (3)
  • NYC poverty rate, 2012: 21.2% (4)
  • NYC poverty rate, 2013: 20.9% (4)
  • Proportion of NYC veterans using food pantries and soup kitchens: 30% (5)




1 New York City Independent Budget Office,   “Has the Long-Term Increase in Food Stamp Usage Finally Come to an End?”

2 Prakesh N. “Advocates: Drop in food stamps about more than job growth.”

3. Brian Lerher Show, WNYC, “A (bad) New Record High: Homelessness,” October 8, 2014.

4. US Census, American Fact Finder
5.   Food Bank for New York City, Veterans Food Drive poster.


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