A new report from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reveals that approximately one in ten New York households experienced food insecurity between 2019 and 2021. Despite this, the report found that the number of households facing food insecurity declined during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to federal relief programs and the expansion of federal food assistance programs.
However, as federal benefits expire, including additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits which expire on Wednesday, DiNapoli has raised concerns that food insecurity may grow. He urges that the nation’s nutrition programs should be expanded to help those struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Although food insecurity has been trending downwards nationally and in New York due to federal policy actions, the report recommends that temporary benefits for SNAP, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and school meal programs be extended until inflation’s impact on food costs subsides. It also suggests raising the eligibility levels for food assistance programs.
The report also calls for renewing the federal child tax credit expansion, implementing the White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, and promoting state nutritional programs.
Sen. Rachel May expressed concerns, particularly for communities living in food deserts, where many residents do not have access to grocery stores. She calls for collaboration with the federal government to broaden outreach to additional communities and get creative about how to tackle food insecurity.
“Access to quality foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, is critical for everyone’s health and well-being. So, it’s concerning to see State Comptroller DiNapoli’s report showing many New Yorkers are going without adequate food,” said Sen. Rachel May.
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