About 3.1 million New Yorkers — more than a third of the city’s population — had problems affording food at some point last year — a figure that is slightly up from last year, but 55 percent more than 2003, the first year the annual survey was conducted by the Food Bank for New York City in conjunction with the Marist Institute.
Report Says One-Third of City Has Trouble Affording Food
The report, the “NYC Hunger Experience 2008,” was released on Wednesday at a news conference with City Council members.
The number of people having difficulty affording needed food is increasing both in absolute and relative terms. In 2003, only one in four city residents, 25 percent, reported having trouble affording need food. Now the figure is well over one in three.
Close to one-half, or 45 percent, of city residents ages 36 to 64 experienced difficulty affording needed food in 2007 — the highest percentage among all age categories.
Middle-income New Yorkers saw the sharpest rise in difficulty of affording food. The percentage of New Yorkers with incomes of $50,000 to $74,999 having difficulty affording food almost doubled from 14 percent in 2003 to 27 percent in 2007.
By race: 50 percent of Latino/Hispanic had trouble affording needed food in 2007; as did 40 percent of black residents and 25 percent of white residents. (Where are the Asians? They’re only some 10 percent of the city population.)
By borough: Bronx, 50 percent of residents had difficulty; Brooklyn, 39 percent; Manhattan, 30 percent; Queens, 39 percent; Staten Island, 36 percent.
By gender: 42 percent of women had difficulty affording needed food compared to 35 percent of men.
Even the college-educated are feeling the pinch. More than one-third, 35 percent, of New Yorkers with a college degree are having difficulty affording food for themselves and their families, more than three times as many as in 2003, 11 percent, and almost double the percentage in 2006, 18 percent.