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Half of New Yorkers Qualify for Food Bank’s Free Tax Prep Service

New Yorkers who earned $65,000 or less in 2023 are now eligible to file taxes for free online or in-person across the five boroughs

NEW YORKJan. 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — If you’re struggling to afford food for yourself and your family, there’s probably a long list of other things you’re struggling to afford. Couple that with tax season – which can be an added expense and stress to food insecure New Yorkers – but it doesn’t have to be!

New Yorkers who earned $65,000 or less in 2023 are eligible to file their taxes for FREE with Food Bank For New York City. Food Bank’s IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program connects New Yorkers with high-quality IRS-certified volunteers to help them prepare and file their taxes online or in-person. For many of our clients, a tax refund is the largest sum of money they will receive all year and it can truly be transformative. With major cuts to pandemic-era benefits, refunds help cover the expenses of rising costs of rent, utilities, medical bills and help put food on the table for tens of thousands of families in need.

Food Bank’s tax program has operated for more than two decades and is one of the single largest VITA programs in the United States – second only to the U.S. military in providing free tax assistance!

In over 20+ years Food Bank has:

  • FILED more than 830,000 tax returns
  • SECURED $1.4 BILLION in tax refunds
  • SAVED filers an estimated $220 million on retail tax preparation fees
  • PRODUCED $2.4 BILLION in economic impact across the five boroughs.

Filing for free is easy. Using their smartphone, tablet or computer, eligible New Yorkers can safely and securely file online by uploading tax documents directly to Food Bank from the comfort of their home, with returns then prepared and filed by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Food Bank For New York City also provides in-person and drop-off tax services at roughly 75 sites across the five boroughs. This year’s goal is to file more than 16,000 returns which is projected to produce $25 million in refunds, $8 million in savings on filing fees for New Yorkers, and $38 million in economic activity in New York City.

“Poverty is the root cause of food insecurity. Food Bank For New York City’s tax work is just one of the ways we help New Yorkers access resources that can help reduce the stress of not having enough to live a healthy meaningful life and help them rise to a more stable place,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “Through the tax program we not only help New Yorkers rise, but we also help businesses thrive as tax refund and credit cash is spent right here in our great city. This work is powerful in ways that cannot be underestimated because the cash to individuals and households puts them in the driver’s seat – they get to decide without limitation how they will use the money. So often people in poverty have decisions made for them which can damage the heart and soul of a person. If someone is helped by our tax program, things such as going to the supermarket and choosing what makes sense for their family becomes a bit lighter – maybe it’s an old family recipe – the kind that creates stories handed down from generation to generation, or maybe its everyday hygiene products.”

If you’d like more information on our VITA program, how you can volunteer, and locate sites around the city, please visit:

Media Contact: Maddie Diaz, Food Bank For New York City Associate Director, Media Relations,

About Food Bank For New York City

Driven by our mission to empower every New Yorker to achieve food security for good, we harness the collective power of our network of food providers, partners, and volunteers to activate the right resources, supports, and expertise across the five boroughs. Our work with more than 800 soup kitchens, food pantries, and campus partners provides immediate and reliable access to food and nutrition education, while our economic empowerment programs give people the tools and know-how to improve their financial wellness. Community by community, we work together to make progress on a more hopeful, dignified, and equitable future for all.


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