The city is home to many agencies with the sole mission of tackling hunger, but ever since the recession started, they’ve been hit especially hard. A new study conducted by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger found that 89% of Brooklyn agencies reported an increase in demand for food, and in Queens it was worse, at 93% of agencies reporting an increase in demand.
You can’t really say that’s a surprise considering the times we’re in. Even millionaires are feeling the effects of this economic downtown, so what does that mean for the poor and the charitable agencies that feed them? Well, actually, it means more federal resources in the form of food stamps and funding for soup kitchens and food pantries, according to the study.
State and City funding have remained relatively stable (City Council shut down Bloomberg’s plans to decrease funding for feeding programs), but the feds will spend an extra $568 million this year on top of the stimulus funding that has already been allocated.
That’s great news, right? Maybe. Even if federal funding has increased, if the number of people requiring assistance has also gone up, it seems to follow that hunger is no closer to being vanquished in New York than it was before.
So what can you, as a kind soul who unfortunately is also strained for resources yourself, do? Chances are, you’ve probably got some bags or cans or boxes of food sitting around at home that you‘ll never get around to using for whatever reason. If they’re unexpired, bring them over to your local food pantry. God forbid, you might find yourself needing a little extra help in the future. Find one by visiting nyccah.org/maps/index.php.