I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Feed the Children in order to address the growing issue of people living in poverty. At the event, families were given boxes of food, toiletries and Avon Products all totaling approximately $160.00 The long and lingering effects of the recession have caused families to struggle to put food on the table; they don’t have the purchasing power to help the economy recover. Food pantries across my district have informed me that the increasing number of individuals they feed is now more diverse than ever before. Working people, seniors, veterans, those who had taken pay cuts, lost their jobs, or could only find part-time work, are coming to food pantries. The hunger problem knows no boundaries. I intend to continue my efforts in raising awareness to the poverty issue and particularly child hunger.
Some pertinent points are:
· According to data from the Food Research Action Center, New York ranks fourth in the nation for hungriest city.
· Last year, federal funding for emergency food and boosts to the Food Stamps Program kept most New Yorkers from going hungry, but more than half of the city’s food pantries and kitchens reported they are unable to meet growing demand, according to an annual city-wide hunger survey released by the NYC Coalition Against Hunger.
· Consumers are using more food stamps to purchase fresh, local food, according to a report by the City Council and GrowNYC; last year, there was a high rise in use of food stamps at local greenmarkets, especially since the introduction of EBT card scanners – all Queens greenmarkets have them.
· In Queens, 89.4% of agencies experienced a higher demand for food than the past year.
· In South Queens, Congressman Greg Meeks’ district reported a 27.5% hunger rate; in Congressman Joe Crowley’s district spanning Bronx and Queens, including Maspeth and Astoria, followed closely with 25 percent.
· New York City has the lowest participation in the country for number of children using the school breakfast program. If kids are hungry in class, performance goes down a lot.
· More than 3 million New Yorkers are living in poverty—beneath the federal poverty line.
· 16% of New Yorkers are living in poverty, one in every six Americans – and New Yorkers, the U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday.
· The U.S. poverty rate was the highest in 27 years -- since 1983 -- and U.S. household income dropped by an average 2% last year. Nationally, 46 million Americans live in poverty.
· The amount of people living in poverty was the highest since the bureau began tracking the figures 52 years ago – and the third straight year the number increased in New York.
· Working-age Americans -- people ages 18-64 – were battling to keep their heads above water. Their number living in poverty increased to 13.7%, almost a full percentage point since last year.
· Since 2007, the number of men pulling down full-time, year-round paychecks dropped by 6.6 million – and the number of women with full-time jobs dropped by 2.8 million.
· This year, almost 6 million people ages 25-34 were doubling up in households, sharing space with parents compared to prior to the recession, an increase of 2.4%.
· The average household income for the American worker and his family declined 2.3%.
· Child poverty was up 1.3% as well. More children started to get powdered milk at home.