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South Bronx Congressional District Leads Country in Hunger

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The South Bronx district represented by Congressman Jose Serrano has the highest rate of hunger in the country. 

That's accoridng to the The Food Research and Action Center, which says Serrano's district has the highest rate of food instability and hunger out of any other congressional district. The rate is 36.3 percent.

One in six Americans (or 18.2 percent) report not being able to afford enough food, the FRAC study concluded. New York Sate has a rate of 18.8 percent food instability, while New York City as a whole performs better at 16.6 percent. 

Mark Dunlea of Hunger Action Network, which released a statement on the report, says the study shows that more work needs to be done nationally and on the state level to increase incomes and support programs that provide food to the needy. 

Hunger Action recently released a survey that showed a third of participants in emergency food programs have a job but make too little to provide enough food for their families. 

"Congress needs to focus on providing living wage jobs to areas of high unemployment, rather than slashing government funding which will just push the economy back into a tailspin. Job restoration under this so-called recovery has been only half of prior recessions, and the jobs that have been created are paying poverty level wages," said Dunlea in a statement. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still debating whether to include a minimum wage hike in the budget that is due April 1 — or whether to hash it out seperate of the spending plan. Democrats from both state legislative chambers support President Barack Obama's plan that would increase the minimum wage to $9 and tie it to inflation. Meanwhile, Cuomo proposed an increase to $8.75 without a tie to inflation. Senate Republicans have indicated they are still unsure if they increase any increase. 

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Guest Thursday, 02 October 2014