In 2010, nearly 2.8 million New Yorkers lived in poverty—that’s 14% of all New Yorkers!—and 12.4% of residents struggled with food insecurity, meaning they are unsure about when they will next receive a meal. In Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, poverty rates are above 25% and over 2.3 million residents statewide rely on emergency food assistance annually. The number of New York State households participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also called food stamps, has increased since the recession—to almost 2.9 million households. Each SNAP dollar spent generates $1.84 in the U.S. economy and creates jobs in industries tied to food production, shipping and sale.
Beginning in December 2013, RJVNY will urge our elected officials to continue funding for programs that protect the most vulnerable among us in New York.