Food Insecurity

As New Yorkers struggle with rising costs for food, rent, and other necessities, food insecurity in our city remains near historic highs.

Visits to New York City food pantries and soup kitchens are up 69% in 2022 compared to 2019—and up 14% just since January 2022 when inflation costs began sending food prices soaring.

Even before the pandemic, New York City was facing a profound hunger crisis—particularly in the marginalized communities that City Harvest has long served. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 2.4 million New Yorkers were struggling to make ends meet.

Those numbers surged during the pandemic and remain at historic highs. Nearly 1.5 million New Yorkers now experience food insecurity, including one in four children, according to a 2021 analysis by Feeding America.

People experiencing food insecurity may not know when or where their next meal will come from. Often, this may be a reflection of a household’s inability to afford basic necessities—such as rent, utilities, insurance, or medical bills—before adding in their grocery budget. A family or household may experience food insecurity for a brief period of time (for example, while a parent is between jobs) or for much longer (for example, a senior living on a fixed income).

Hunger doesn’t fall equally across the city. It hits particularly hard in low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionately harmed by decades of policy inequities and systemic failures.

No New Yorker—no matter who they are or where they come from—should have to worry about where their next meal will come from.

City Harvest is committed to helping feed every New Yorker who finds themselves in need of food assistance now and in the decades to come.