Statewide, there’s an increase in food insecurity due to rising food costs and deep cuts in federal assistance programs. Yet Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2016-17 state budget would spend $154 billion with no additional funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program [“Crunch time,” News, March 20]. Three million New Yorkers are adversely affected, including 300,000 people on Long Island.
Long Island’s high cost of living and continued uncertain economy force many to create coping strategies and spending trade-offs, making unenviable choices between paying the mortgage, buying medicine and putting food on the table.
Too many hard-working adults who cannot always make ends meet are seeking food assistance from soup kitchens, food pantries and other feeding programs supported by the hunger prevention program through local food banks. Children, senior citizens, and veterans are often forced to go without food.
While our state legislators fight the good fight for Long Island’s fair share for education, transportation and other things that matter, providing no additional help for our neighbors struggling for a meal is unacceptable. On an island of affluence and prosperity, no Long Islander should be faced with not knowing when or if, their next meal may come.
Randi Shubin Dresner, Hauppague
Editor’s note: The writer is president and chief executive of Island Harvest Food Bank.