Homelessness in New York City reached its highest level since the Great Depression last year, and it's now been confirmed that one in five New Yorkers—an astounding 1.4 million of the total population of 8.3 million—currently rely on food banks and pantries to sustain themselves every day. This number is nearly the same percentage of New Yorkers who live below the poverty lines, and overlaps with the 1.8 million city residents who already use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

The number of those who frequent food banks has soared by 200,000 since 2008, the year of the global financial crisis. But the real whiplash of austerity hit on November 1st of last year, when the benefits of the decades-old food stamp program extended by President Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill ran their course. The farm bill passed by House Republicans in September implemented major cuts to these family-oriented subsidies, which, as Paul Ryan has described, work like “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.”

For these 1.8 million, hammock-loving New Yorkers, temporary relief came in the form of a loophole found by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was able to offset the $8.6 billion loss of federal funds with a $6 million injection of state dollars, providing food banks with an additional $4.5 million grants. Except this still meant New Yorkers would see a drop in their food stamp currency: for a family of three, $220 a month soon became $189 a month; for an individual, $50 dropped to $30.

As a result, over 1,000 pantries across New York City, such as the Food Bank and City Harvest, are now strained with an abrupt influx of city residents, who are reportedly waiting an hour or more for food. “It helps a lot since they cut the food stamps. I don’t have to buy potatoes. I don’t have to buy carrots, onions, apples. I concentrate on something else,” Phyllis Gray, a retired Department of Education worker, told the Daily News.

However, the farm bill did include a $205 million aid package for food banks but, with 1.4 million residents now on their rosters, this money hasn’t been enough. The Food Bank for New York City's website has information about how you can help.