Almost three million experienced hunger in 2010 in NY

About two and a half million of New York City’s eight million residents went hungry at some point in 2010.

According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, New York is experiencing its greatest hunger crisis to date. The study says that 702,000 New Yorkers suffered from “very low food security” last year. Data was collected from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement completed in December of 2010.

Marion Nestle, an NYU nutrition, food studies and public health professor, said the United States needs policies to promote “job programs, a stronger safety net and greater income equity” to solve the country’s hunger crisis.

“We live in a very wealthy country and there is no reason for people to be so poor that they cannot afford basic necessities,” she said.

Theresa Hassler, director of communications, government relations and community organizing at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, said NYCCAH is confronting the issue of food insecurity head on.

“We believe the long-term solution to ending hunger in New York and across the nation is to focus on making sure that people who are eligible for food assistance, such as food stamps … receive them,” she said.

Lucy Cabrera, president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, said she is dedicated to making sure all New Yorkers live in a food-secure household.

“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,” she said.

Despite these efforts, Krishnendu Ray, assistant professor of nutrition and food studies, said confronting food security is still a daunting task, expecially during a time of economic hardship.
“This problem is very disconcerting, especially because this recession is probably going to be long and recovery very slow,” Ray said.
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