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Hunger in New York City

Sadly, the need for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger is greater than ever, with the city facing an increasing crisis of poverty and hunger. in the 2012-2014 time frame, over 1.4 million New Yorkers - including nearly one in four of the city's children - lived in households that lacked sufficient food.

In the Coalition's latest annual survey of hunger in New York City - the most comprehensive of its kind - New York City’s emergency food providers (food pantries, soup kitchens, and brown bag programs) reported a 5 percent increase in need for their services, on top of a 7 percent increase in 2014, 10 percent in 2013, 5 percent in 2012, 12 percent in 2011, 7 percent in 2010, and 20 percent in 2009. These findings are only exacerbated by recent cuts in federal nutrition.

Summary of Findings: 2015 Annual Hunger Survey


  • Nearly half of all working-age New York State and New York City residents who can’t afford enough food live in households where at least one person is employed. In both the state and city, the minimum wage is now $8.75 per hour, equaling $15,925 for a year of full-time work, leaving a worker with even one child below the federal poverty line.
  • Many New Yorkers are paid at or near the minimum wage – and significant numbers are even illegally paid below that. As a result, in 2012-2014, one million New York State residents lived in households that included at least one person working but food insecure or, in other words, were unable to afford enough food. Of the adults between the ages of 15 and 65 in the state who were food insecure, 47% were working.


  • In New York City alone in 2012-2014, more than 450,000 residents lived in food insecure households that included at least one person working. Forty-eight percent of all adults between 15 and 65 in the city who were food insecure were employed.