Food Poverty in NYC
Hunger is caused by food poverty, a lack of geographic and/or financial access to nutritious food. In New York City, one of the richest cities in the world, food poverty is around every corner. Throughout the five boroughs, approximately 1.4 million people — mainly women, children, seniors, the working poor and people with disabilities — rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. Approximately 2.6 million New Yorkers experience difficulty affording food for themselves and their families.
Financial pressures such as unemployment, health care issues, housing costs, and low wages continue to strain the budgets of New Yorkers with low to moderate incomes. Low-income New Yorkers often have to choose between providing enough food for themselves or their families and paying the month's rent or utility bills. Middle-income New Yorkers are also feeling the pressure, increasingly reporting difficulty affording groceries. With food prices steadily rising, struggling New Yorkers' ability to buy food for themselves and their families is at a crisis level.
To make matters worse, approximately 3 million New Yorkers live in low-income neighborhoods that lack access to affordable, nutritious food. With their budgets already strained, and the prevalence of low-cost, low-quality food in these neighborhoods, these residents face significant challenges in maintaining a healthy lifestyle — leading to high concentrations of diet-related conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Meet the People We Help
Learn more about the largest groups relying on emergency food in New York City — through first-hand stories from New Yorkers in need, key statistics and videos taken at our citywide network of food assistance programs.