According to a new report by the Zara Charitable Foundation, 25% of families in Queens lack reliable access to nutritious food.
“I think it's no secret that food inflation is a serious threat that a lot of our local communities are facing. We see it firsthand,” said Amir Sobhraj, a board member of the Zara Charitable Foundation.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 10% of children nationwide face food insecurity. In Queens, that rate is double.
“We know that the need is unbelievable. Children are the first ones to suffer. Second ones are the seniors and young families,” said Pedro Rodriguez, the executive director of La Jornada Food Pantry.
The organization distributes food daily at different locations around Queens.
“It’s incredible how inflation has destroyed, you know, so many households,” Rodriguez said.
According to the new report, more Americans are facing food vulnerabilities over the last few months since federal pandemic-era food relief programs ended.
Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits saw a reduction at the start of the year. Meanwhile, nonprofits are also feeling the impact.
“The food that is available to be given out has been cut. You know, quarter. So we right now, we are giving out 25% of what we used to have during the pandemic,” Rodriguez said.
New Yorkers in need of assistance can visit foodhelp.nyc.gov for information on food pantries around the five boroughs.