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Annual Survey Report Released: Hunger Before & After Sandy
With New Yorkers Already Facing Record Levels of Hunger, Hurricane Sandy Adds to the Burden of Service Providers and
Low-Income Communities in City’s Most Affected Areas
USDA: One in Four New York City Children STILL Food Insecure
First-Ever Senior Data Shows One in Ten Lack Food
Hunger and food insecurity soared citywide even before Hurricane Sandy, and have likely surged since then, according to the Coalition's new report, The Perpetual Storm: NYC Food Insecurity Before – and After – Hurricane Sandy (click here to download the full report in PDF format).
Before the storm, 1.4 million New Yorkers – one in six – lived in households without enough food, a new record high. The first-ever analysis of federal senior data found that one in ten seniors struggled against hunger. One in four of the city’s children – nearly half a million – lived in households that lacked sufficient food.
In 2012, food pantries and soup kitchens citywide faced a five percent spike in demand, on top of increases of 12 percent in 2011, seven percent in 2010, and 29 percent in 2009. Yet more than two-thirds of agencies reported a decrease in government funding and more than half report decreases in private funding in 2012. As a result, 63 percent of feeding agencies were unable to distribute enough food to meet current demand, up from 62 percent in 2011 and 51 percent in 2010.
“The hunger crisis that exists for children, seniors and veterans throughout our communities is alarming,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “We have a moral obligation to ensure they do not go hungry. As our city’s food pantries strain to meet the needs of New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy and millions of those experiencing food insecurity, we must step up to aid emergency food banks and residents hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Sadly, this is not a short-term problem and it is critical that we develop long-term solutions to effectively combat hunger.”
To view and download the full analysis, please click here. The report includes three sets of data: an analysis of recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food security data from 2011 (using a methodology that the federal government started using in 1997), the results of a pre-storm survey of food pantries and soup kitchens about their year-long trends, and the results of a brief questionnaire of pantries and kitchens following Sandy.
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