Oversight: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SNAP Administration, Food Pantries, and Soup Kitchens

by Melissa Gallanter, RD
Testimony to the New York City Council: Committee on General Welfare
Testimony of Charles Platkin, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center, Distinguished Lecturer, Hunter College, CUNY
Title of Hearing: Oversight: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SNAP Administration, Food Pantries, and Soup Kitchens

Good afternoon and thank you to the members of the Committee on General Welfare for the opportunity to submit written and oral testimony regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SNAP administration, food pantries and soup kitchens in New York City.

My name is Charles Platkin, and I am providing this testimony on behalf of the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center, of which I am the executive director. The Center works with policymakers, community organizations, advocates and the public to create healthier, more sustainable food environments. We thank the City Council for their support.

Along with the challenges and fears of COVID-19 spreading throughout the five boroughs, New Yorkers have faced challenges of unemployment, inability to leave their homes safely, and increased levels of food insecurity. The Center applauds the members of the City Council and the City of New York for their efforts to ensure New York City residents don’t go hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more than 600,000 New York City (NYC) residents facing unemployment since March,[1] with disproportionately higher rates in many lower-income communities such as neighborhoods in the South Bronx,[2] individuals and families are forced to make the impossible choices between paying bills and feeding their families.

Additionally, many individuals who became homebound in an effort to avoid exposure to COVID-19 also became unable to access groceries for themselves or their families. Prior to COVID-19, nearly 15 percent of New York City residents were already food insecure.[3] Since the pandemic that number has risen to 25 percent.[4] Not surprisingly, 74 percent of city food pantries and soup kitchens have reported an increase in the total number of visitors compared to last year.[5] But along with an increased need and use of food pantries and soup kitchens came many food pantry and soup kitchen closures, low food supply to provide for community members, long lines and crowded food pantries. Furthermore, research that we conducted showed, and a lack of up-to-date information regarding openings and operating hours among food pantries.

In crisis, the City’s food supply is left incredibly vulnerable as we can remember from Hurricane Sandy. Even with the City’s responses and financial incentives to help feed the NYC community that have been put in place since March,[6] food pantries and community-based organizations struggle to keep up with demand and individuals struggle to access food. On a community and individual level, COVID-19 has resulted in severe, unprecedented challenges in feeding New Yorkers especially for individuals living in under-resourced communities and/ or those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 across the five boroughs.

Various entities, including City agencies and community-based organizations responded swiftly in handling the enormous added demand for resources. In mid-April, the City unveiled Feeding New York, a short- and long-term plan to provide support to food pantries and emergency food providers.[7] Prior to the plan’s announcement, the City had already begun transitioning all congregate meal programs at more than 240 senior centers into delivered meals as well as expanded senior meal deliveries in general through the NYC Emergency Home Delivery Assistance program. These services became a part of the newly-created GetFoodNYC initiative that also includes the free Grab & Go program for keeping NYC school children and adults fed.[8] Meanwhile, local anti-hunger initiatives, such as Lifeline and Green Bronx Machine, also focused on the needs of homebound, vulnerable residents through their free food delivery services.[9] Following these initial and massive efforts, New Yorkers still face sizable threats to food access in the months ahead.

Lack of Information for Needed Food Resources

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lack of any centralized information guide for all food access resources, by the City or community-based organizations. School meals transformed as schools closed, and the NYC Department for the Aging congregate meals morphed and merged with the City’s meal delivery program. As New Yorkers isolated and followed the lockdown precautions, access to food resource programs as well as information regarding new programs and transitions became increasingly challenging. City leaders, community based organizations, and others concurred that there was a lack of updated food resource information in NYC. To help connect community members in need with food resources during the pandemic, the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center (FPC) developed Coronavirus NYC Food Resource Guides for each neighborhood in the five boroughs. The neighborhoods were divided by the 59 NYC Department of City Planning’s Community District Profiles, and each resource guide includes specific food-related resources within the zip codes of that specific neighborhood. Resources in the guides include location and hours of food pantries, meals for students and senior citizens, delivery services and retail food stores that offer delivery, and social services such as immigrant, housing, and disability services.

The genesis and expansion of the resource guides was in partnership with City departments and community organizations, with the partnership of Share Meals to create an online database of resources. In order to ensure that the guides contain the most up-to-date information, the Center has trained more than 125 volunteers and maintains a continuous, weekly calling schedule to food pantries and soup kitchens, neighborhood organizations and resources as well as supermarkets, bodegas and other retail food outlets. More than 30,000 volunteer call attempts were made between early April and August to update the resource information, and the food resource guides reached upwards of 5,500 visits per day during the height of the lockdown.

Community members began reaching out to the FPC in response to the publishing of the food resource guides, urgently in need of food for themselves and their families. The FPC received emails frequently from a range of community members. For instance, a community leader was looking to find food resources for a household of nine whose head of household was laid off due to the pandemic. Others reached out in Spanish, requesting translation of the food resource information and the at-risk elderly also sought information from the FPC as characterized by this email received from a senior:

Research in the Community

Interviews with Community Members

In an effort to assess the individual and community-level impact of New York City’s food system response to COVID-19, the FPC conducted interviews in July and August with 13 individuals (9 women; 4 men) from several underserved and/or disproportionately affected communities throughout the City. The participants came from neighborhoods in the Mott Haven/Melrose, Fordham/ University Heights, Morrisania/Crotona, and Belmont sections of the Bronx; the Elmhurst/Corona, Kew Gardens/Woodhaven sections in Queens; and the Brownsville section in Brooklyn. The interviewees ranged in age from 25 to 72; seven of them had an educational background of high school or less, with the remaining having a college or professional degree. Seven self-identified as Latino/Hispanic; five Black/African-American, and one Pacific Islander. All but one participant lives with other family members (households ranging from two to nine occupants), while 10 participants (77 percent) reported their household was receiving SNAP benefits.

Participants were asked questions related to the food security resources (e.g., delivery services, pantries) they used during the months in lockdown; whether or not they experienced changes to food access; their perception of quality of foods received; and what problems they encountered at local retail environments, such as supermarkets and bodegas, during lockdown.

Food Pantry Data

As part of maintaining the Food Resource Guides, FPC volunteers called each food pantry/soup kitchen on a weekly basis to collect such information as status (open/closed/unknown), hours, and dietary accommodations (i.e. Kosher). This food pantry data was merged into a single dataset with information from other city and community-based sources (City Harvest, DSNY, FeedNYC, and Plentiful). Address and latitude and longitude coordinates were used to identify the Community District/Neighborhood for each food pantry and soup kitchen, and the data collected by the FPC was entered into an AirTable form. Descriptive statistics were used to assess food pantry availability in the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19, in comparison to respective boroughs, NYC overall, and throughout the pandemic. Because there are multiple sources of data, measures were taken to identify and eliminate duplicates to paint an accurate picture of the availability of food pantries in these neighborhoods.

Data Collected From Interviews with Community Members

Analysis of the interviews revealed several overarching themes related to food access in NYC during the height of the lockdown in March, April, and May. They include facilitators and barriers to food access, as well as the tangential issues connected to food quality, food prices, and the lack of awareness of existing resources. Many of these challenges are not new within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, however the concerns of many community members have been further compounded by the crisis.

Facilitators of Food Access

Throughout our interviews, City and community-based free food delivery organizations emerged as significant facilitators of food access during the height of the lockdown in March, April, and May. By early August, more than 100 million meals were provided for New Yorkers through the City’s emergency meal program.[10] For some people, food deliveries have played a critical role in the procurement of essential groceries when shopping online proved to be unfeasible and/or money was tight.

It should be noted that the sign-up process for food deliveries can be cumbersome and complicated.[11] For food delivery programs, specifically for the emergency home delivered meals GetFoodNYC program, sign ups are completed online or by calling 311.[12] Early on the pandemic response, when the Department for the Aging (DFTA) meal program merged with the GetFoodNYC program, communities around the City reported that senior citizens had not received meals consistently.[13] For many senior citizens who were not already enrolled in DFTA meal programs, the information on how to sign up and access registration proved to be complicated for a population less familiar with online-based registrations and accessing program information exclusively online. For many food pantries and soup kitchens, individuals must provide a form of identification or proof of address in order to be eligible, sometimes after waiting on long lines before reaching the registration table. However, one of our participants remarked that their sign-up process for the NYC Emergency Food Delivery Program was easy and the organization provided her with additional information on resources in her community.

Our interviews also revealed the crucial role that community members and leaders have played in improving neighborhood food access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephen and Lizette Ritz, founders and educators of Green Bronx Machine, an organization in the South Bronx focused on incorporating urban agriculture into the classrooms of marginalized communities, purchase fruits and vegetables from the Hunts Point Market each week and deliver food boxes to their students throughout the Bronx as well as to Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer patients, who are unable to safely go out and buy groceries because of their compromised immune systems.[14] Some of our participants are recipients of the Ritz’s food deliveries, an initiative entirely run by the team of community leaders. Pop-up pantries created and run by community members have been an additional resource that has facilitated access to a variety of foods. One of our participants remarked about how proactive community members were in starting up these grass-roots initiatives.

Barriers to Food Access

While food pantries during this time were a critical access point for New Yorkers for obtaining much needed food staples and/or essentials, a number of participants expressed frustration related to the long lines and wait times at many of the locations.

The problem of long lines was compounded by increased individual use of food pantries and widespread food shortages,[15] and the fact that there are 30 percent fewer pantries in the City as compared to before the outbreak, because many of the volunteers that service these centers are older adults who are at greater risk of catching the virus and developing life-threatening complications.[16] In a survey conducted by the Food Bank for New York City to determine food pantries’ and soup kitchens’ preparedness and response to COVID-19, 53 percent of food pantries and soup kitchens that were surveyed reported running out of food in April. Seventeen organizations surveyed reported running out of food twice or more each week.[17] A pastor from Jamaica, Queens whose church runs a food pantry for community members spoke to the difficulty it has been to keep up a food supply for the pantry. With very little money remaining in the budget by mid-May, the food pantry became reliant on donations from individuals and neighborhood businesses in order to continue functioning.[18]

The reports of burdensome lines and food shortages at pantries mirrored the study participants’ experiences at supermarkets as well, where long waits were followed by the discovery that many staple items, such as rice, were sold out. Though smaller grocers and bodegas were utilized as an alternative to supermarkets, some participants observed that these establishments charged more for their products and/or offered more packaged and processed food choices rather than fresh and perishable items.

In addition to the challenge of dealing with long lines, many of the interviewees described fear of going outside and being vulnerable to catching the virus, especially if they or a household member had any one of a number of comorbid medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, cancer, or HIV. Such fears are especially well-founded in minority communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. A study published in late April found that U.S. counties that are majority-black had three times the rate of infection and almost six times the rate of death compared to majority-white counties.[19] A more recent report in New York City concluded that a confluence of factors such as comorbidities, occupational exposure, and poverty place minority populations at higher risk for infection and adverse outcomes.[20] To reduce their risk, many of those interviewed (all of whom are residents of predominantly minority neighborhoods) went food shopping far less frequently than they did prior to the pandemic.

For families with young children, the K-12 school closures introduced an additional layer of hardship for struggling parents needing help with food access. Prior to the pandemic, universal free school meals were available daily to 1.1 million NYC public school children.  In response to COVID-19, DOE had organized free grab-and-go meals across over 400 school sites, but it has not been feasible for this program to achieve the same scale of meal distribution as before the pandemic. Additional concerns include repetition of food options, lack of choice, and consistent locations of the meal hubs. A school social worker in the Bronx and Flushing noted, “I have been in contact with many families mostly in the Bronx that are running into issues regarding food supply.  I have had a difficult time providing adequate resources for these families… Is there a way to link up with a resource in the Bronx to directly connect these families to a food source? Many of these students have sensory issues that make eating more difficult” (Email correspondence with the HCFPC). With the unchanging food choices available through the DOE, the resources were unable to reach the families who needed additional or more specific support. As a result, many families looked to emergency food providers to fill the gap.[21]

However, being able to take advantage of these resources with children in tow created additional stresses and barriers. As one mother stated: “At the beginning, when I did not know about this service that they deliver food to the house, I was going to the food pantry but they always told me, ‘no children, you can’t bring children, just parents can come.’ Then I said ‘ah, but I don’t have anyone to leave them with.’ For another mother, standing on line for long stretches of time with young children proved to be highly burdensome, as she describes: “I had to be standing on a Tuesday and it was raining, storms, and that’s how we had to wait. It didn’t matter because we needed food. . . . And with children it is difficult, my oldest daughter told me, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to wait anymore, my feet hurt.’ And I had a mini chair for her to sit on and I had my other daughter in the stroller, and that’s how it was.”

While community leaders have played a significant role in filling a major food access gap, some of our participants expressed a general lack of awareness of City and community-based anti-hunger initiatives and resources and eligibility criteria, as some discovered critical resources by happenstance.

One of the barriers to community outreach faced by local anti-hunger initiatives is how to promote their services to people in need who do not have mailing addresses, emails, or cell phones. As one participant who works at a pantry and also receives food from it noted: Sometimes you walk down the street and you see a line of people at a pantry, but you don’t know: What are the qualifications? Do I stand in this line for two hours to get an answer or you know, how do y’all find out to get the services?”

An additional barrier was the limited number of days that pantries were open—in many instances only once a week or once a month. Data from the FPC Food Resource Guide food pantry data indicates that 14 percent of food pantries and soup kitchens that were open in August 2020 were only open once or twice a month, on rotating schedules such as “every other Sunday” or the “first and third Wednesday of the month.”[22]

Economic Challenges

Economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded the existing barriers related to food access. In parallel with the levels of unemployment not seen since the Great Depression[23] there has been a rise in food prices. A report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics published in May notes that food-at-home prices in April 2020 had a higher monthly inflation rate than any month since 1990. The price index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs all rose with a 4.3 percent index.[24] As more New Yorkers lose their income, the increasing prices of groceries to feed themselves and their families have created a greater need for food assistance programs and organizations.

For many individuals and families who have immigrated to the United States, the pandemic’s economic consequences have been dire. Because of their immigration status, many undocumented workers are ineligible to receive federal cash stimulus support and at the same time many are fearful of signing up for federal food assistance programs such as SNAP.[25] Immigration status makes it challenging to utilize food pantries and soup kitchens as well, since many sites require forms of identification as part of their sign-up and registration process. One interviewee said about not signing up for SNAP: “I am afraid because maybe they will take away our visa, that is why I have not asked for help from anyone.”

Additionally, according to a report from the Center for an Urban Future, there is an estimated 192,000 undocumented workers in NYC, many of whom have lost jobs, which was their primary source of income. Many others have continued to work through government shutdowns, as unauthorized immigrants are disproportionately deemed “essential workers,” especially in construction, the restaurant industry, and in agriculture, farming, and grocery stores. [26] Continuing to work provides income, but with higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who are able to shelter in place.

Food Quality and Freshness

When asked about the quality and freshness of the foods they obtained either through free food deliveries or pantries, many participants spoke positively about the items they received. One participant stated that because of the deliveries, she was able to eat more nutritious foods that she normally could not afford to purchase, “I am eating more vegetables because there are more vegetables in the food (deliveries) and it has been good. I have changed my diet.”

However, other participants expressed frustration with receiving deliveries of only snacks (e.g., cookies, nuts, and cheese), which they considered not as useful as items such as milk and eggs, which would have been preferred and more helpful. Another participant mentioned receiving pre-cooked meals, such as salmon with broccoli. While she considered the meals to be healthy, she would have preferred raw or whole foods so the meals could be prepared their own way. Another interviewee stated that timing is important when frequenting the pantries in that arriving “early” offers an opportunity to get better quality produce. In addition, one participant who works at and uses a pantry observed that sometimes the patrons perceive the fruits and vegetables as being “bad” or “damaged” when they see dirt on the produce, not realizing that the food was boxed and transported from the farm and “right out of the ground.”

Food Pantry Data

Throughout the initial pandemic response period, there was disparity in that neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 had access to fewer open food pantries and soup kitchens. Certain neighborhoods, such as Morrisania and Brownsville, were hard hit with very low percentage of opened pantries (8% and 12%, respectively, compared to 53% for NYC overall), particularly during the earlier phase of the lockdown. In tandem with the increased use of food pantries as a crucial source of groceries, only 20 to 35% of food pantries citywide were confirmed to be open between April and mid-May, according to data collected by the HCFPC. Other food pantries may have been open, however, HCFPC data is only based on organizations that could be reached via phone calls.  That number began to tick up from May 11th to May 21st, and from May 22nd through August 1st, the percentage of confirmed open food pantries steadily increased from 63 to 72%. While the openings have improved over the past few months, rates are still lower than prior to the pandemic.[27]

The increase in food pantries that were confirmed open was the result of the persistent call attempts to reach food pantries to update information that increased with the longevity of the project, in combination with the reopening of food pantries that had been closed in initial response to the pandemic. The Food Bank for NYC reports that by mid-April, food pantry closures peaked at more than one-third citywide.[28] Figure 1 shows the percentage of open food pantries by neighborhood, borough, and NYC overall during the phased time periods described above. The findings are consistent with the stories from the interviews; one participant from Brownsville stated that she had to travel to Walmart in Long Island to find food. As shown in Figure 1, from March 17th through May 11th, the availability of food pantries in Brownsville was far lower than the borough or city average. The Food Policy Center started collecting Notes in May with regards to accepting food donations, monetary donations, and need for volunteers and drivers. The difficulties described in interviews regarding both availability of food and cost of food at retail stores likely contributed to a lack of donations to food pantries, and even once the worst of the crisis was over, there was a clear need for volunteers and drivers, again likely contributing to long lines and delays with delivery.

As discussed in the qualitative interviews, it was difficult for residents in hardest-hit neighborhoods to obtain information about whether food pantries were open and if they would be eligible to receive food when they arrived. The percentage of “unknown” status during late April and early May demonstrates there were also challenges in FPC staff and volunteers obtaining even basic information on whether a pantry was open or closed. It is less likely information would be able to be obtained from a closed food pantry than an open one, which may account for a percentage of the unknowns, but the challenges encountered by the FPC team to obtain and confirm information only serve as a proxy for the challenges community residents with limited resources have encountered to obtain such critical information. While data on openings and closings are useful, particularly for comparing neighborhoods, the data does not account for the length of the line, the availability of fresh produce, and whether the pantry’s resources were able to meet the needs of the communities. It is the words of our interview participants that highlight those experiences and describe the barriers and challenges community members have had to overcome these past few months.

Conclusion

Our interviews with residents from low-income communities throughout NYC gave us an opportunity to highlight varying perspectives on how individuals facing sharp socio-economic challenges are coping with food insecurity during the City’s worst public health crisis in a century. The comments—straight from the voices of those living through the pandemic in some of the City’s hardest hit neighborhoods—revealed that food pantries and emergency food delivery services are an effective means for providing key food supplies among the most vulnerable populations. The quantitative data we collected also reflects the food access challenges experienced by our participants, particularly as they relate to food pantry availability—widely and adversely impacted especially during the first two months of the lockdown.

While the problems with community-based assistance measures seem to have started to abate in recent weeks, the core challenges addressed in this report, such as food supply issues, lack of community awareness of resources, and socio-economic burdens, still persist in the aftermath of the initial lockdown. Depending on the likelihood of another major outbreak and the risk-reduction steps that may need to be put in place again throughout the City, the barriers to food access described here may rise further. At this pivotal moment, community leaders, policy makers, and grass-roots organizers must work together to confront the challenges ahead and carve out a long-term action plan and access system to better support the availability of nutritious food citywide.

Recommendations

  • Implement effective outreach and communication strategies to communities in need of food resources in regards to City agencies- and community-based organizations and programs available.
  • Create and maintain a City-based public dataset of all food pantries and soup kitchens currently open. All food pantries and soup kitchens should be able to easily update their status and open hours via automated phone systems or websites, so that all information is accurate in real-time.
  • Recruit and train a healthy volunteer workforce that is ready to be mobilized in times of need.
  • Create a database of citywide food pantry inventories, making sure that low-inventory and high demand are met by food banks, community organizations and the City of New York.
  • Strengthen food policies so that they designate clear authority and provide adequate funding and staff who have a thorough understanding of the programs’ population and meal requirements, which will better position the City to meet New Yorkers’ diverse food needs.

[1] New York State Department of Labor, Labor Statistics for the New York City Region, July 2020, https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/nyc/.

[2] Ghitza Yair and Steitz Mark. DEEP-MAPS Model of the Labor Force, August 2020. https://github.com/Catalist-LLC/unemployment/blob/master/deep_maps_20200804.pdf.

[3]  Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap 2018, https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2018/overall/new-york/county/richmond.

[4] “Nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers Needs Food as Pandemic Persists.” The New York Times, May 22, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/nyregion/coronavirus-ny-update.html.

[5] Food Bank For New York City, 2020 Report: New Yorkers Don’t Live Single-Issue Lives: The Intersections of Hunger, https://1giqgs400j4830k22r3m4wqg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Intersections-of-Hunger_NYC-Hunger-Conference-Report_02.13.20.pdf.

[6] Sanders, Anna. “De Blasio Announces $170M Initiative to Help Feed NYC Residents During Coronavirus Pandemic.” NY Daily News, April 15, 2020. https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-hunger-initiative-pandemic-new-york-city-20200415-n5mml5c4orhizhq37c5duawa3e-story.html.

[7] Feeding New York. The City of New York, New York City Department of Sanitation. April 15, 2020. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/home/downloads/pdf/reports/2020/Feeding-New-York.pdf.

[8] GetFoodNYC, COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution. The City of New York. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/contact/services/COVID-19FoodAssistance.shtml.

[9] Green Bronx Machine Delivers Food in the Bronx During COVID-19 Pandemic, Green Bronx Machine. https://greenbronxmachine.org/video/.

[10]Mayor de Blasio Announces City Has Distributed 100 Million Meals to New Yorkers Since March, Calls on Federal Government to Increase Funding for Food Assistance. The City of New York, July 21, 2020. https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/533-20/mayor-de-blasio-city-has-distributed-100-million-meals-new-yorkers-since-march-calls.

[11] Ginsburg ZA, Bryan AD, Rubinstein EB, et al. Unreliable and Difficult-to-Access Food for Those in Need: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of Urban Food Pantries. J Community Health. 2019;44(1):16-31. doi:10.1007/s10900-018-0549-2.

[12] GetFoodNYC: COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution. City of New York. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/contact/services/COVID-19FoodAssistance.shtml.

[13] Bergin, Brigid and Chang, Sophia. “Stuck at Home, Some Elderly NYers Are Struggling to Get Food During Coronavirus PAUSE.” Gothamist, April 16, 2020. https://gothamist.com/food/stuck-home-some-elderly-nyers-are-struggling-get-food-during-coronavirus-pause.

[14] Changemaker: A Modern Day Hero Changing One Life at a Time. Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, August 19, 2020. https://www.nycfoodpolicy.org/changemaker-a-modern-day-hero-changing-one-life-at-a-time/.

[15]Dickinson M. Food frights: COVID-19 and the specter of hunger [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 13]. Agric Human Values. 2020;1-2. doi:10.1007/s10460-020-10063-3

[16] Gilman, Asure. “‘I Can’t Believe This is America.’ Confronted With Unprecedented Need, New York Food Pantries Try to Fill in the Gaps.” MarketWatch, August 6, 2020. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-cant-believe-this-is-america-confronted-with-unprecedented-need-new-york-food-pantries-try-to-fill-in-the-gaps-2020-08-06.

[17]  Fighting More than COVID-19: Unmasking the State of Hunger in NYC During a Pandemic. Food Bank for NYC, June 2020. https://1giqgs400j4830k22r3m4wqg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Fighting-More-Than-COVID-19_Research-Report_Food-Bank-For-New-York-City_6.09.20_web.pdf?utm_source=June+10%2C+2020&utm_campaign=Dec.+6%2C+2017&utm_medium=email.

[18]Informal citation: Phone call with Melissa and pastor for FPC Food Resource Guide data collection, May 15,2020.

[19] Center JHUR. Racial Data Transparency.https://coronavirusjhuedu/data/racialdata-transparencydownloaded April 28, 2020. 2020.

[20] Arasteh, K. Prevalence of Comorbidities and Risks Associated with COVID-19 Among Black and Hispanic Populations in New York City: an Examination of the 2018 New York City Community Health Survey. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-020-00844-1.

[21]    Fighting More than COVID-19: Unmasking the State of Hunger in NYC During a Pandemic. Food Bank for NYC, June 2020. https://1giqgs400j4830k22r3m4wqg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Fighting-More-Than-COVID-19_Research-Report_Food-Bank-For-New-York-City_6.09.20_web.pdf?utm_source=June+10%2C+2020&utm_campaign=Dec.+6%2C+2017&utm_medium=email.

[22] Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center Neighborhood Food Resource Guide AirTable database. August 28, 2020.

[23] McGeehan, Patrick. “A Million Jobs Lost: A ‘Heart Attack’ for the NYC Economy.” The New York Times, July 7, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/nyregion/nyc-unemployment.html.

[24] Consumer Price Index. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf.

[25] Amandolare, S, Gallagher, L, Bowles, J, and Dvorkin, E. Under Threat & Left Out: NYC’s Immigrants and the Coronavirus Crisis. Center for an Urban Future, June 2020. https://nycfuture.org/research/under-threat-and-left-out

[26] US Foreign-Born Essential Workers by Status and State, and the Global Pandemic. CMS Report, May 2020. https://cmsny.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/US-Essential-Workers-Printable.pdf.

[27]  Gilman, Asure. “‘I Can’t Believe This is America.’ Confronted With Unprecedented Need, New York Food Pantries Try to Fill in the Gaps.” MarketWatch, August 6, 2020.

[28]  Fighting More than COVID-19: Unmasking the State of Hunger in NYC During a Pandemic. Food Bank for NYC, June 2020. https://1giqgs400j4830k22r3m4wqg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Fighting-More-Than-COVID-19_Research-Report_Food-Bank-For-New-York-City_6.09.20_web.pdf?utm_source=June+10%2C+2020&utm_campaign=Dec.+6%2C+2017&utm_medium=email.

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