March 24, 2021
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On March 24th, NYSHealth hosted a webinar on food scarcity rates in New York State during the pandemic and the impact on food-insecure New Yorkers.
Food insecurity has become its own crisis within the coronavirus pandemic. Mass losses in employment have curtailed New Yorkers’ ability to afford food. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures have significantly impeded reliable pathways to food access such as meals provided in community settings or schools. Many New Yorkers have been forced to choose between their need for food and their own sense of safety, given the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19 while accessing food during the pandemic.
A recent report from NYSHealth examines food scarcity rates in New York State by race and ethnicity, age, and household income from the start of the pandemic through the end of 2020, using weekly self-reported survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sophie Wheelock, Policy and Research Associate, NYSHealth, shared key findings from the report, which draws from 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.
Sherry Tomasky, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, and Krista Hesdorfer, Child Nutrition Program Specialist, from Hunger Solutions New York, discussed the report’s findings, including how different groups of New Yorkers are accessing free meals and groceries, the pandemic’s impact on children’s food security, and which methods food-scarce New Yorkers are using to meet their household needs. They also provided recommendations on how State and federal programs can improve food security programming and prioritize funding and outreach to food-insecure populations.
General information sheet on some New York State nutrition programs.