At a time when families across the city are sitting down to Thanksgiving feasts, far too many are going hungry, a sobering report Tuesday reminded New Yorkers.
Demand at Gotham food pantries and soup kitchens was up 6.8 percent this year, on top of a 20.8 percent jump in 2009, according to the 2010 Hunger Survey Report by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
“Despite the massive infusion of federal dollars [for anti-hunger programs], still half the pantries and kitchens in the city don’t have the resources to meet demand,” said coalition director Joel Berg. “This, in a city where we have 58 billionaires, is really appalling.”
Berg called New York City “the poster child for wealth inequality.”
He urged concerned New Yorkers to not only volunteer and donate to fight hunger, but also to convince their local lawmakers to support the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill that among other things ensures students get breakfast at school.
Here are other statistics found in the report:
51.4: percent of city pantries and kitchens that couldn’t meet demand this year
1.7M: New Yorkers receiving food stamp benefits as of September
1 in 8: New York state households classified as “food insecure” in 2009
79: percent of agencies feeding increased number of families with children this year