State report shows that food insecurity affects 39% of Bronx adults

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A new report from the state’s Department of Health found that 40% of Bronx adults — the highest percentage among the five boroughs — self-reported that they were “always, sometimes, or usually worried or stressed about having enough money to buy nutritious meals in the past 12 months.” 

The research, conducted county-by-county throughout the state, painted a grim picture of health in New York. Within the boroughs, Staten Island (Richmond County) reported the lowest percentage of food insecurity, but still came in at just over 22%. Statewide, food insecurity was reported by nearly one in four adults.

Lack of nutritious food can have serious health impacts.

“Hunger stresses the body and mind, and can result in malnutrition, inability to concentrate, anxiety, and depression,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said in a statement. “In addition, adults who experience food insecurity are more likely to report chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and cancer.”

The problem of food insecurity has become even more urgent in the Bronx and nationwide, as SNAP (Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program) benefits that were boosted during the pandemic lapsed back in February — effectively cutting the aid to low-income families. 

Since then, some organizations in the Bronx, such as the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation or WHEDco, have reported an increase in visits to their food pantries.

A list of food resources can be found on the borough president’s website here.