Food insecurity is a secondary crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last year, millions of New Yorkers have lost employment or are living on a reduced household income, straining their ability to afford food. For many New Yorkers, savings are depleted, stimulus checks have long since been spent, and enhanced unemployment benefits are not sufficient to meet food needs. Furthermore, social distancing measures have disrupted previous pathways to food access, such as meals provided in community settings or schools.
As a follow-up to a previous report, a new NYSHealth report analyzes self-reported survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau related to food scarcity in New York State from the start of the coronavirus pandemic through the end of 2020. It presents food scarcity rates by race and ethnicity, age, and household income, and compares New York State with neighboring states. For example, in December 2020, one in three Hispanic New Yorkers (32 percent) and one in five Black New Yorkers (21 percent) reported household food scarcity in the last seven days—percentages that were 2 to 3.5 times higher than among white New Yorkers.
The report also shows rates of child food scarcity and assesses how different groups of New Yorkers are accessing free meals and groceries. Finally, it measures which methods food-scarce New Yorkers are using to meet their household spending needs
To read the report, click here.