Report: 69% of Households on Long Island Still Make Hard Choice Between Paying Utility Bill or Buying Food
August 25, 2014
by Mike Clifford
(New York, NY) – One in seven Americans turns to a food bank for help. About 40 percent have education beyond high school and one in 10 is a student working on that higher education. Those are just a few insights into hunger presented in a new report from Feeding America. Paule Pachter, CEO with Long Island Cares – Harry Chapin Food Bank, says the report takes a look at how food insecurity is connected to health.
“When people can’t purchase nutritious food, they’re going to eat high starch and high sugar,” Pachter says. “Medical problems may indeed be related to poor nutrition, such as diabetes.”
Pachter credits Gov. Andrew Cuomo with making about $4 million in additional funding available last year for local food banks to help New Yorkers who were forced to cope with reduced federal food stamp benefits.
According to the report, 39 percent of clients who depend on food banks have at least one child in the family. Pachter says Long Island Cares will be increasing its outreach to local school kids this fall.
“The first weekend in October we’re going to launch a school-pantry program, partnering with the Brentwood School District to address the needs of about 3,000 kids,” he says.
The report found 69 percent of client households, especially those in Nassau and Suffolk counties, still having to make hard choices between paying the utility bill or for food. Pachter says Long Island Cares will open an additional storefront location in Huntington in October to make food help accessible to more people on Long Island.
According to Feeding America’s new Hunger in America 2014 report, one in seven Americans depends on food bank assistance, while one in five U.S. households served by Feeding America food banks has at least one member who has served in the military. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith