Tonight, Council Member and General Welfare Committee Chair Annabel Palma will ride along on the Coalition for the Homeless’ mobile soup kitchen, kicking off an effort to highlight the needs of thousands of hungry New Yorkers during Thanksgiving holiday week.
Coalition for the Homeless’ food vans feed more than 900 homeless and hungry New Yorkers each night in the Bronx and Manhattan.
Hard hit by the down economy, 18.7% of NYC residents now live under the federal measure of poverty, as the city remains the most expensive in the country.
On Tuesday, Palma will host the Council’s annual Hunger Hearing. Many New Yorkers live with food insecurity: One in five children in New York City lives in households that cannot afford enough food. Over the last year, NYC’s food pantries and kitchens have seen a nearly 7% increase in demand for their services. This year, NYC families have collected $3 billion in food stamps as demand has increased and the federal government injected an additional $1.3 billion in food stamps through the stimulus.
Facing looming city and state budget cuts, Council Member Palma will warn against rollbacks in lifelines that provide food to economically struggling families, specifically cuts in federal funding to food stamps (SNAP benefits). At the state level, she will call for preservation of funding for Emergency Food Assistance Program. In the city, she will emphasize the value of continued funding for school breakfast and lunch, meals on wheels, food pantries, and soup kitchens.
The starting location is St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue, Manhattan and the ending location is Fordham Road & Webster Avenue in the Bronx.