What to Know
- Food insecurity in New York City is becoming more and more of an issue as the region continues to grapple with the soaring cases of COVID-19 and the economic fallout of the pandemic
- Food insecurity is such a problem that Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his daily coronavirus briefing that he believes about two million New Yorkers are in dire need of receiving adequate amounts of food
- If you find yourself in need of food assistance, click here for resources
Food insecurity in New York City is becoming more and more of an issue as the region continues to grapple with the soaring cases of COVID-19 and the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Food insecurity is such a problem that Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his daily coronavirus briefing that he believes about two million New Yorkers are in dire need of receiving adequate amounts of food.
According to de Blasio, before the COVID-19 crisis, more than "one million New Yorkers experienced food insecurity with some frequency."
"There is still a persistent poverty problem in New York City," he said. "This is one of the things we have to fight back when we overcome the coronavirus we have to go much further in our strategies to reduce poverty in New York City."
The mayor went on to say that, it stands to reason, that during the current pandemic "food insecurity is unquestionably going up."
"I thinks it’s not going to be around over one million. I think its going to be pressing on towards two million," de Blasio said of the number of New Yorkers he believes will need food assistance.
The mayor went on to explain that the high level of residents who have found themselves unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic has fostered the high levels of individuals facing food insecurity.
"Given that you have half a million people who have lost their jobs," he said. We don’t have exact numbers yet of what is going to happen but I’ve said since the beginning I think, between the folks who have lost their jobs and the folks who are going to lose their jobs and the folks who have lost a very substantial amount of their income, that’s a half a million people at least. Many of them, of course, were the sole bread winners for their families and that means that the ability to buy food gets massively disrupted."
He called the estimated number of New Yorkers facing food insecurity "horrifying."
"It’s a very painful reality," he said. "It's bad enough for people who were already food insecure – that’s not acceptable and we have to overcome that going forward – but just think about folks who just weeks ago couldn’t have imagined not having enough food to eat and now they're struggling to find it. There are so many people who need help."
This latest development comes as food banks around the tri-state say they are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for meals from people out of work as a result of the coronavirus shutdown. A church in Hackensack looked to give out food starting around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday — but the line that stretched around the block began forming long before then.
"Every time we try, we see people are still hungry, still lines ... real suffering," said former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who now heads a prison re-entry program and helped organize the food drive at the church.
The reality became clear within minutes: The 500 prepared meals on tables in the parking lot would not be nearly enough to feed all those who had come hoping to leave with something to eat. Most came hungry, and left the same way.
If you find yourself in need of food assistance, click here for resources.