Save NYC Missing Meals: Protect New Yorkers from Devastating Food Stamp Cuts
The national anti-hunger safety net is under the greatest threat seen in Food Bank For New York City's 30-year history. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger. More than 46 million Americans — including 1.9 million New York City residents — rely on SNAP to keep food on the table. Decisions made in Washington between now and November will determine whether SNAP cuts will create new hardship for low-income New Yorkers, and plunge New York off a looming “Hunger Cliff.”
Members of Congress are proposing to drastically slash SNAP benefits, making it even harder for vulnerable children, seniors and families to keep food on the table at a time when food pantries and soup kitchens have lost resources and are struggling to meet the need. The House and Senate are currently debating their respective versions of the Farm Bill, both of which include billions of dollars of cuts that will result in a shortfall of up to 208 million meals in New York City alone. (For more information about these proposed cuts, and the effect on New York City’s most vulnerable, read the policy brief.)
Food Bank For New York City's research shows there are 250 fewer food pantries and soup kitchens in New York City today than at the start of the Great Recession - a loss of 25 percent. The same forces that have left more New Yorkers unemployed and in poverty have also drained our safety net of the resources needed to meet increased need. Food shortages are more pervasive at food pantries and soup kitchens, and when participants are turned away, it is most commonly due to a lack of food. With the pending elimination of up to 208 million meals through cuts to SNAP funding, these food pantries and soup kitchens will continue to fall short of meeting the increased demand for support.