NY food banks seek $16 million in state funding to restock their barren shelves

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Food banks throughout New York state are working out of food due to rising want and falling advantages. Now they’re asking the state legislature for a further $16 million in funding, simply to hold the shelves stocked by the top of the yr.

Throughout New York, about 2.6 million individuals have bother affording food, and should make the tough selection between consuming and paying for different requirements like hire, medicine, little one care or transportation, in accordance to the Food Bank For New York City. So they flip to food pantries to assist. Yet those self same places are working quick on food.

“Being in New York [City], I think, is both a blessing and a curse. I mean, there is a lot of food, there is a lot of people, we’re a big city, but we’re also a city with very high need,” Triada Stampas, Food Bank For New York City’s vice chairman for analysis and public affairs, instructed RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky. “There’s about 1.4 million New York City residents ‒ so just here in New York City ‒ who rely on food pantries and soup kitchens over the course of a year. That’s about 16 percent of our population.”

The Food Bank For New York City is the provider for one of many metropolis’s greatest food pantries, the place the shelves being absolutely stocked is the exception, not the rule, she famous.

“We’re seeing food banks and soup kitchens reporting food shortages at much higher rates than they had been before,” Stampas mentioned. “In one month alone ‒ last September ‒ 60 percent of the city’s food pantries and soup kitchens reported running out of food.”

The scenario is even worse in the remainder of the state, main Hunger Action Network to ask the New York legislature for $16 million in extra funding… simply to get by the top of the yr. It can be a mere drop in the bucket out of the $2.6 billion in at the moment unallocated funds in New York’s 2015 finances, Yaroshevsky reported.

Michael Berg, the director of a company that runs three food pantries in Ulster County, instructed AP that requests for food there have risen by about 20 p.c every year for the previous few years. In Albany, a coalition of 53 food pantries says it’s seeing its highest demand in its 36-year historical past.

Contrary to the stereotype that folks visiting food pantries are homeless and jobless, most clients are employed, however it’s nonetheless not sufficient to put food on the desk with out assist.

“Most people who actually use pantries are actually the working poor. And they are working, they just don’t get paid enough money,” Susan Zimet, director of the Hunger Action Network, instructed RT. “Also, a lot of seniors who have not seen their Social Security increase keeping pace with the cost of food, they cannot afford food. You also have veterans, veterans are not getting paid enough to support their family and then be deployed overseas.”

“On a local level, people are falling further and further behind,” she added.

Food banks throughout the nation have had to do extra with much less for almost two years now, ever for the reason that US Congress minimize federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program advantages ‒ food stamps ‒ by a mean of $18 a month. About 40 p.c of these receiving SNAP advantages then flip to emergency food companies, main to a rise in demand, in accordance to the New York Times.

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