Bronx, NY – Today, Congressman Ritchie Torres joined Hunger Free New York City at their field office on 938 Sheridan Ave in The Bronx to promote the new ways that low-income New Yorkers can order food online with SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and have that food delivered to their homes.
Congressman Torres was joined by Joel Berg, the CEO of Hunger Free NYC, which is a division of Hunger Free America, a national, nonpartisan direct service and advocacy organization – as well as by food company representatives and low-income Bronx residents – all of whom all called for expansion of such options.
As hunger and food insecurity continue at high pandemic levels throughout New York City, the leaders at the event agreed low-income New Yorkers need more options to obtain healthy, culturally appropriate foods online for home delivery. They also called for renewal of the anti-hunger provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, which implemented a significant increase in SNAP benefits, boosted WIC for pregnant women and children under five, made free school meals universal, and created a P-EBT program to give food money to families of children in closed schools. The bill also provided funds to USDA to help expand SNAP online purchasing.
“The pandemic has left Americans hungrier than ever. In one of the most food insecure districts in America, SNAP benefits are a crucial tool in helping families in the Bronx make ends meet,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “Hunger provisions in the American Rescue Plan if renewed would have a significant impact on food insecurity across the country. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of Hunger Free America and join them in calling to increase federal funding for anti-hunger programs.”
“We are here today celebrating the progress in enabling low-income New Yorkers to use SNAP to order healthy, affordable food online for home delivery” said Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg. “We must expand these options. We hope USDA makes it easier and quicker for online retailers to allow customers to purchase food using SNAP/EBT. We also call on Congress to renew the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act that have provided relief to tens of millions of people struggling with hunger and food insecurity. That funding warded off mass starvation in America, and if all its anti-hunger provisions expire, hunger in The Bronx, and in all of America, will soar again.”
The Bronx remains New York City’s hungriest borough – and one of the hungriest counties in the United States — with more than one in four Bronx residents (25.4 percent) experiencing food insecurity, according to federal data analyzed by Hunger Free America. This includes 35.8 percent of all children, nearly 18 percent of working adults, and more than 21 percent of older residents (60+). Between 2018-2020, 14 percent of the New York City’s population – equaling 1.164 million people –suffered from food insecurity, unable to afford a sufficient supply of food, including 19 percent of all children, 9 percent of all employed adults, and 11 percent of all older New Yorkers.