Food banks and soup kitchens all across New York City are feeling the pinch in their food pantries this year: the number of New Yorkers needing food assistance has almost doubled while their inventory has not.
After Congress slashed food stamp benefits last year, food pantries have seen an overall 80 percent increase in demand, according to the Food Bank for New York City, the Daily News reports.
The number of New Yorkers getting food stamps has started to decline for the first time in years, reported the Human Resources Administration.
The recent cuts have snatched a total of $18 a month from New Yorkers on food stamps – meaning 56 million fewer meals could be bought over the last 11 months, leading to 60 percent of city pantries and kitchens running out of some type of food, and 37 percent of pantries forced to turn people away.
“That is a tremendous loss,” Food Bank Vice President Triada Stampas said at a City Council hearing Monday. “The impact on food pantries was immediate, widespread, and unfortunately it has continued.”