News / USA

Advocates Say New York City Facing Hunger Crisis

Anti-Hunger Advocates Say New York Facing Crisisi
X
Bernard Shusman
August 05, 2014 12:17 AM
According to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, nearly one in five residents is "food insecure." Bernard Shusman has more.
VIDEO: According to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, nearly one in five residents is "food insecure." Bernard Shusman has more.
Bernard Shusman

In the Harlem section of New York City, people come early and line up each day for food to feed their families at a pantry run by the Food Bank for New York City.

The food comes from several kilometers away at a massive distribution warehouse in the Bronx where supplies come in from the government, food companies, and donors. Row after row of canned goods, household products and fresh fruits and vegetables are neatly stacked.

According to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, nearly one in five New York City residents is "food insecure."

The Food Bank, a non-profit social services organization, delivered 35 million kilograms of food to pantries and kitchens in New York’s five boroughs this past year. In the past five years the number of people on food assistance in New York alone has risen by over 200,000, according to city figures. 

And Food Bank CEO Margaret Purvis says the need is getting greater with each passing day.

“We talk about the haves and the have nots — we talk about the gap between the rich and the poor," she said. "What we’re seeing more and more in the world of poverty is that it’s not a gap. It’s more like a canyon, and the distance between those who have and those who do not is really quite devastating."

At the pantry, volunteers play an important part in preparing foodstuffs.

“I never really volunteered anywhere before,” said one woman who chose to withhold her name. “I’ve done little things in high school, so it’s been a while, but it just makes you appreciate what you have, but also how much more people out there need help.”

One recent day, a financial services company was preparing bags of macaroni for distribution. Needy folk are not just given food. They are also taught simple, cheap, and nutritious recipes.

“This is roasted sweet potato mash,” Sunny Anderson, a Food Network host told them. “It’s really, really easy. It’s just sweet potatoes, onion, salt, pepper and butter. It’s delicious.”

Pantry customers do not pay for food but are granted allotments based on the size of their families.

Camesha Grant, the Food Bank's director of member services, said a cutback in food stamps in 2013 resulted in a significant increase in hungry New Yorkers.

“One in five are children, and one in six are seniors," she said. "And just to really make the point, we’re talking about working people. We see people who have jobs, who are working every day but really struggling to make ends meet. So it’s really been a challenge.”

It’s a quiet crisis. And it's getting worse. According to a report issued by the USDA, the number of people on food assistance in New York City alone has risen by over 200,000 in the last five years.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs