Seniors are one of the largest groups that rely on soup kitchens and food pantries throughout the five boroughs. In addition to the challenges associated with New York City's low-income neighborhoods, seniors in need must confront various issues associated with old age, including medical problems and the need for assistance to complete daily tasks. Learn more below about New York City's seniors in need with key statistics and stories from the seniors we help.
- Approximately one out of every six elderly New Yorkers (approximately 154,000) receives food from soup kitchens and food pantries. (NYC Hunger Safety Net 2007)
- Almost one out of five (19 percent) seniors in NYC (10 percent in the US) lives below the federal poverty level (approximately $18,000 per year for a family of three). (US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2008)
- More than one out of every three (38 percent) seniors in NYC experienced difficulty affording needed food — a 65 percent increase since 2003 (NYC Hunger Experience 2009)
- Less than one-fifth (19 percent) of households with seniors accessing emergency food are enrolled in the federal Food Stamp Program, lower than the overall average of 46 percent. (NYC Hunger Safety Net 2007)
In all of the above statistics, seniors are defined as 65 and older.