A federal report says one-in-eight New York State households struggles with hunger.
The annual Agriculture Department report on food insecurity found more than 13 percent of households in New York State were "food insecure," meaning they need help from charitable programs and food cupboards to meet their food budgets. That would amount to about two-and-a-half million people.
Tom Ferraro is Executive Director of Foodlink, the Rochester area's regional hunger relief agency. He said the federal numbers are a close match to the local situation in the 10 counties Foodlink serves. Increasingly, many of them working people, who can no longer afford to pay their bills plus all of their food needs, too. Ferraro said today's food-insecure aren't just the homeless. They're also suburban residents who have lost their jobs and find they can no longer get hired at the same pay scales.
The group Hunger Solutions New York said in a news release that it sees this same trend. Linda Bopp said the number of people not sure how they'll pay for food before their next check comes in remains at recession levels, despite the recovery.