Report: 40% of NYC’s Veterans Rely on Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens
Hunger’s New Normal: Redefining Emergency in Post-Recession New York City, a new research report from Food Bank For New York City, finds that forty percent of New York City’s veterans – 95,000 veterans in total – accessed a food pantry or soup kitchen in 2012.
Even before last week’s $5 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program), New York City’s veterans have been facing a hunger crisis that is only getting worse.
The report also found that SNAP benefit levels were already inadequate for meeting basic food needs before the November 1 cuts – in fact, more than 40% of SNAP recipients in the five boroughs are turning to food pantries and soup kitchens to keep food on the table. Despite a 2009 SNAP benefit increase, 75% of people accessing food pantries and soup kitchens who are on SNAP report that their benefits last only three weeks into the month. With current benefit levels already failing to last the month, the recent cuts have created a hunger crisis for many families just as the holiday season approaches.
“It is appalling that in New York City, nearly half of the men and women who have served our country have left the front lines to return to emergency food lines. More tragic still, we are sending our veterans deeper into a hunger crisis by cutting SNAP benefits, which act as our first line of defense against hunger,” said Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “This Veterans Day, the most patriotic thing we can do is to urge Congress to reverse these devastating SNAP cuts, and take all additional cuts off the table.”
Beginning November 1, all SNAP recipients had their benefits slashed – an average loss of $29 per month for a household of three. The cut will result in an estimated loss of 76 million meals for New York City residents over the next 12 months, more food than Food Bank For New York City, the country’s largest food bank, distributes in a year. Nationally, an estimated 900,000 veterans will be affected.
Only one wall street Billionaire is all it would take to feed the NY military veterans