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Food insecurity is on the rise in New York state

Fresh product on display at Whole Foods in Brighton.
Max Schulte
Fresh product on display at Whole Foods in Brighton.

Over the span of two years, from 2020 to 2022, 11% of households in New York state—equivalent to approximately 875,000 families—were unable to secure enough food due to financial constraints.

That’s according to a new report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

This marks an increase from the previous 10% from the 2019-2021 time period.

Despite a stronger economy, national food insecurity rates have also climbed to more than 11% for the first time in a decade.

DiNapoli said that the end of enhanced federal benefits in the post-COVID era has had a severe impact. Rising food and living costs have pushed more families into food scarcity, he said.

"Higher food costs and rising poverty rates leave far too many New York households with too little to eat," said DiNapoli. "I urge the federal government to expand eligibility for nutrition assistance programs so we can make sure families throughout New York and America don’t go hungry.”

According to the report, households with children experienced the highest rates of food insecurity. Early 2024 figures suggest a slight improvement, but challenges remain significant.

New York’s new budget includes increased funding for food programs to support two-million children and enhance resources for food assistance facilities.

Jasmin Singer is the host of WXXI’s Weekend Edition and Environmental Connections, as well as a guest host for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Connections.