New York City food banks struggling to feed more and more hungry NYers
New York City food pantries and soup kitchens are struggling to feed a growing number of hungry New Yorkers, according to new data from Food Bank for New York City.
Not only are these New York City food pantries struggling tofeed more people, it’s getting more expensive to feed just one person. The average cost of a meal has increased 27 percent across all boroughs and 46 percent in Manhattan alone, according to Food Bank for New York City. Food Bank for New York City supplies food for more than 62.5 million meals every year.
Nearly half of the city’s soup kitchens and food pantries have an operating budget of under $25,000 a year. More than half work to feed New Yorkers with a non-paid staff.
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has made more funding for the city’s emergency food program a priority over his career. This year, as the council and mayor were hashing out the city budget, the council decided to raised the amount of money set aside for the program by $8.7 million — above Mayor Bill de Blasio’s suggested $8 million.
That brought the total Emergency Food Assistance Program budget to $20 million annually, but in the face of the Food Bank for New York City report, will that be enough?
“Food Bank for New York City’s latest analysis reveals we still have a lot more work to do to close the meal gap,” Johnson said in a statement to Metro. “I’ve always said it is imperative to strengthen this city’s social safety net. Let’s face it; there is nothing, literally nothing more important than food.”