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New York’s Food Insecurity Levels on the Rise, According to Data Released Today by the USDA

Food Bank For New York City Calls on Congress to Protect
Vital Food Assistance Programs

New York, NY – September 7, 2011 – In response to the release today of new food insecurity data by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which shows New York State’s food insecurity levels on the rise, the Food Bank For New York City calls on Congress to protect federal nutrition assistance programs against cuts that would threaten to drastically reduce vital food support for those already enduring the greatest brunt of the economic downturn. While national levels are holding steady, New York State’s food insecurity levels are rising. Almost a million households throughout the state are now struggling to put food on the table.

In New York State, the struggle to put food on the table is becoming more widespread; throughout the state the number of households living in food insecurity increased 4 percent.

This new data underlines the need for our nation’s leaders in Congress to safeguard vital nutrition assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food stamps to more than 1.8 million New York City residents, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides emergency food to 1.4 million New York City residents who rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.  The cuts currently proposed by the House of Representatives would be devastating to those struggling to get by and would eliminate one sixth of the Food Bank For New York City's  food supply resulting in the loss of at least 10 million meals provided through the Food Bank's network of 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, such as soup kitchens, food pantries, senior centers and more. The deficit reduction agreement subsequently passed by Congress put these programs under additional threat.  

“We will not stand by while New Yorkers are struggling to put food on the table and while 1.5 million people already rely on the Food Bank’s programs and services. At a time of rising demand, government should be helping the most vulnerable among us, not taking food away from those who need it the most,” said Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City.

About the Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 28 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. 94% of donations go directly toward food distribution, acquisition and programs in all five boroughs of New York City.  Learn how you can help at

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