New York City Coalition Against Hunger said that 1.4 million New Yorkers do not have the necessary funds to feed themselves or their families, according to a study released on Tuesday.
According to the study, one in four children in New York City, or approximately 500,000, live in a home without enough food. That figure is up 61 percent since the last study that was conducted between 2005 and 2007.
Child and adult hunger levels are soaring, while our front line nonprofit feeding agencies are being starved out of business by government cuts, said Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition, according to the press release. How is it that our leaders in Washington find Wall Street firms 'too big to fail,' but lose little sleep allowing American children to go without food and allowing soup kitchens and food pantries to close?
The study also found that 58 percent of pantries and soup kitchens had to turn away clients, reduce their portion sizes, or limit their operation hours in 2011. That figure is up 7 percent from 2010. NYCCAH listed several reasons for the increase in hungry families. They cited that cuts to federal programs such as Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which funds hundreds of pantries, was cut by nearly 40 percent. Food pantries also received a 55 percent fewer private donations compared to 2010 statistics.
We must do everything we can to eradicate hunger in our city, said New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn in a statement. At a time when struggling New Yorkers need more help than ever, the city's soup kitchens and food pantries are operating under slashed budgets, while faced with an increased demand for services.