New York, NY –
A new report from the New York City Coalition Against Hunger says the number of New Yorkers using soup kitchens or food pantries soared by 21 percent last year. Executive Director Joel Berg says the recession has created the long lines at food agencies commonly associated with the Great Depression. "We know there are over 1.3 million New Yorkers forced to use pantries and kitchens... and there's been a massive increase on top of that. So, unfortunately you still can see long lines in select neighborhoods throughout New York City," Berg says.
Nearly $500 million in federal food aid helped meet some of the demand. But more than half of the city's food agencies were forced to ration the amount of food they hand out or turn people away.
For more details, listen to an interview with Berg on WNYC's Finanical 411.