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New York food banks running out of food: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Food banks across the US state of New York are running out of food, amid rising demands and falling funds.

Food banks across the US state of New York are running out of food, amid falling funds and rising demand from people that have trouble affording food.

About 2.6 million people have trouble affording food across New York with about 1.4 million New York City residents relying on food pantries to feed themselves, according to the Food Bank For New York City. 

The situation is even worse in the rest of the state, leading Hunger Action Network to ask the New York legislature for $16 million in additional funding just to keep the food shelves stocked through the end of the year.

Michael Berg, the director of an organization that runs three food pantries in New York, told The Associated Press that demand for food there has risen by about 20 percent each year for the last few years.

Contrary to the belief that people visiting food pantries are homeless and jobless, most customers are employed, but are not paid enough money to put food on the table without help.

Food banks across the US have seen increased demand from hungry Americans since 2013, ever since Congress cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program, by an average of $18 per person a month.

About 40 percent of those receiving food stamp benefits then turned to emergency food services, leading to an increase in demand, according to The New York Times.

Despite the state doing “relatively well” at feeding its hungry compared to the rest of the country, New Yorkers now miss about 100 million meals each year, and 37 percent of food pantries say they have had to turn away needy people because they ran out of food, The Times reported.


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