One of the most striking failures of the city’s food system is the persistence of hunger and food insecurity in the wealthiest city in the world. Here are some numbers:
1.3 MILLION NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS LACK SUFFICIENT FOOD
More than 1.3 million New York City residents, including one in five children and one in ten seniors (over the age of 60), live in households that lack sufficient food.
FOOD INSECURITY HAS INCREASED BY MORE THAN 200,000 RESIDENTS IN THE LAST 5 YEARS
In the last five years, the number of city residents experiencing food insecurity has increased by more than 200,000. In New York State, the number of people experiencing food insecurity has increased by 40% since 2000-2002.
63% OF SOUP KITCHENS REPORTED FOOD SHORTAGES THIS YEAR
In 2013, New York City’s food pantries and soup kitchens reported a 10% increase in demand; 63% reported food shortages this year. In 2013, 57% of the city’s pantries and soup kitchens reported a cut in government or private funding or other contributions; 11% reported increases.
1.4 MILLION NEW YORKERS RELY ON EMERGENCY FOOD
Almost 1 in 5 New York City residents– about 1.9 million people — rely on SNAP (Food Stamps) and about 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on emergency food for basic nutrition.
ANNUAL LOSS OF 76 MILLION MEALS FOR NYC RESIDENTS
Budget cuts imposed by Congress that went into effect on November 1, 2013 will result in the annual loss of about 76 million meals for New York City residents. The SNAP cuts proposed by the House of Representatives, if approved by the Senate, would cut payment for at least another 100 million meals annually.
The SNAP cuts implemented in November are estimated to lead to reduced revenues of $19 million per month for New York City food retailers.
Food Bank for New York City. Policy Brief NYC on the Edge of a Hunger Cliff. New York, 2013. Available here.
New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Superstorm of Hunger: Lingering Shortfalls Expose a Tale of Two Food Cities. New York, 2013. Available here