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New York City Pantries Ran Out Of Food After Food Stamps Were Cut

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, corruption, dishonesty, elections, Food, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, politics, propaganda, republicans )

- 1549 days ago -
After food stamps were reduced at the beginning of November, New York City food pantries and soup kitchens ran out of food, turned people away[....]

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Kit B (276)
Friday January 24, 2014, 5:45 am
Photo Credit: AP

After food stamps were reduced at the beginning of November, New York City food pantries and soup kitchens ran out of food, turned people away, and reduced the meals they handed out after experiencing a surge of demand, according to a new report from Food Bank For New York City.

The organization surveyed 522 food pantries and 138 soup kitchens and found that in November 2013, nearly half had either run out of food altogether or the particular kinds of food they need to make adequate meals. About a quarter had to turn people away since they didn’t have enough food, and another quarter had to reduce the number of meals they provided.

The survey asked them to compare conditions in November of last year to September and October, as well as to November 2012. Three-quarters saw a surge in visitors in November as compared to the months before, with 16 percent saying demand increased by more than 50 percent. Even more reported that the number of visitors climbed compared to the year before, making it likely that the uptick was about the food stamp cut, rather than seasonal changes. The report notes that “the SNAP cuts that took effect November 1 represent the biggest systemic factor reducing the food purchasing power of low-income people,” adding that “other factors that meaningfully affect emergency food program participation, like local unemployment, actually decreased in November 2013.”

In November, an increase in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) that was included in the stimulus bill to respond to increased need during the recession was allowed to lapse, reducing benefits by about $9 per person per month, bringing the value down to an average of less than $1.40 per person for each meal. Food Bank For New York City reports that nearly 1.9 million New York City residents rely on food stamps, or one in five.

The experience in New York City has played out across the country. Mayors in different cities reported in December that the need for emergency food programs like pantries and soup kitchens had increased over the year before. In many of them, facilities turned people away due to a lack of resources, reduced the quantity of food they handed out, and reduced the number of visits they allowed each month. Even before the cut took place, private charities had warned they wouldn’t be able to pick up the slack, especially with charitable giving down in the aftermath of the recession.

But they may be asked to take on even more need, as Congress is poised to reduce SNAP benefits again. While Republicans had tried to cut the program by about $40 billion over five years, which would have kicked as many as 6 million people out of the program altogether, the bipartisan agreement seems to be settling on reducing the program by about $9 billion. That cut would impact about 1.7 million people, who would see an average decrease of $90 a month.

Yet if Congress is worried about reducing spending on the program, all it has to do is wait. It will fall by about half over the next decade as the economy improves and demand decreases. Cuts, on the other hand, can hurt not just those who rely on them to eat, but the economy, as every $5 spent on benefits generates $9 in economic activity.

By: Bryce Covert | Think Progress |

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation and was previously a contributor for ForbesWoman. Her writing has appeared on The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Nation, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and others. She is also a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York Chapter of Women, Action & the Media.

lee e (114)
Friday January 24, 2014, 7:02 am
My food stamps were completely discontinued due to a bureaucratic error during my surgery last summer, now after 3 months and trying to afford my new license, since I moved last year - I'm in a catch 22 - can't afford a license because my food stamps are gone, so it's either food or ID - thus far I've chosen food - maybe next month I can set aside the $20 for a license that's just missing a bunch of breakfasts - time will tell!

JL A (281)
Friday January 24, 2014, 12:09 pm
Feeding America compiled national data and there is no way the charitable community can pick up the difference--even before any cuts my local ones were challenged to keep food on their shelves.

Angelika R (143)
Friday January 24, 2014, 2:36 pm
I've been telling you the'll starve people to death-quite intentionally,too! Have no words for the shame this is. Thx.

Kamia T (89)
Friday January 24, 2014, 3:44 pm
Our local food pantry has seen a 100% increase in demand over the prior year for food contributions. Luckily the board has done an excellent job of fund raising and grant requests, and local farmers are donating excess to keep it going, but even at that, the level of nutrition that is provided is rather sad.

Birgit W (160)
Friday January 24, 2014, 4:04 pm
Horrible, thanks Kit.

. (0)
Friday January 24, 2014, 4:59 pm
That's terrible! Thanks for sharing, Kit.

Ravenna C (20)
Friday January 24, 2014, 6:07 pm
This is shameful for a supposed First World. The Oligarchy the rules the former United States of America has reduced the majority into a group of wage slaves and stolen the retirement paid by honest hardworking Americans who paid into the system their whole adult working lives only now be forced to go hungry.

This is wrong...this country and those of us paying taxes are paying far too much into "dark projects" and other military waste that we don't even get to know about...Meanwhile we have to cut foodstamps?!?! I think it's time that "The People" take back their country and start with a clean slate. How about NO $ for SECRET projects.

Suzan F (137)
Friday January 24, 2014, 9:30 pm
I think there should be a governmental pay cut, before there's another food stamp cut. Hit the ones who can afford it before you cut the throats of starving people.

Susanne R (234)
Friday January 24, 2014, 10:36 pm
Yes, let's cut food stamps but not the ten forms of corporate welfare that were outlined in one of Kit's previous submissions! We all know that large, profitable corporations and their wealthy shareholders need that money more than hungry children. This is SO wrong!

Carrie B (306)
Friday January 24, 2014, 10:52 pm
New Mexico Food Banks are seeing more people also and not enough food for all. I feel so badly for the families with children to feed. It breaks my heart to think of hungry children anywhere, ~ but in this country where there is so much wealth held by such a few ~ it is unforgivable!

Athena F (131)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 2:01 am

Kath P (9)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 5:34 am
I live in Canada. The food banks here have also seen a dramatic increase in use while at the same time a decline in contributions of money and food.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 6:19 am
But the pentagon can maintain 194 golf courses. And the NFL pays no tax. And Congress gives itself raises while cutting food stamps and unemployment and refusing to raise the minimum wage. Big Ag and Big Oil get big subsidies and the poor get the shaft. We're going to have to do more than be outraged if we want anything to change.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 1:21 pm
Sounds all so familiar-funny, I bet I read the very same in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010....----------------??????????????
Obviously that job of "doing more than.." hasn't even begun, let alone progressed or even finshed. Or am I just blind, could be..?

Jae A (316)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 1:30 pm
I've been sit'n here staring at this comment space for fifteen minutes or more trying to find a way to say what my mind is thinking on this topic without my being ban'd from far the only thing I can come up with the words of Dubya Bush,' the war president' as he liked to be referred to as being........
"Mission Accomplished". ..and I just can't get past that thought at the moment in order to come up with any solutions that don't involve the extisnction of The Rightwing in political office. Ya know, the' spend and borrow' group that expect the middle class and poor to make up for their out of control war spending and Corporate welfare programs.

Jason R (67)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:28 am
People that have less and less can't do more.

Jason R (67)
Friday January 31, 2014, 10:31 am
I wonder why known social conservatives note these type of stories but never have anything to say.

Is it just racking up points? Diane?
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