Some distressing stats come from the USDA today: 2.5 million New Yorkers surveyed between 2008 and 2010 couldn't afford enough food, a number that's jumped by more than 50 percent from 2005-2007. 702,000 state residents are officially going hungry, the highest level ever recorded for the state; and one in seven residents suffer from "low food security," meaning that even if they're not technically going hungry they still can't afford a sufficient supply of food at some point during the year.
“This is the highest level of state hunger since the government started counting it,” said Joel Berg, the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “This new data proves that, over the last few years, millions of New Yorkers were at the edge of an economic cliff, with many falling off into hunger but some barely hanging on with the aid of government nutrition programs," said Berg. Some anti-homeless advocates recently expressed support for fast-food companies vying to accept food stamps.
Initiatives to bring fresh food to the city's "food deserts" have not been hugely successful, and last year, several neighborhoods in the Bronx won the distinct dishonor of having the highest hunger rate in the country.