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A coalition of elected officials, advocates, and nonprofit leaders have created a plan for the next mayor to end hunger by 2018. The main thrust consists of executive actions the mayor could take, while the rest is rounded out by recommendations for federal, state, and local legislators. It would "make food jobs a central component of the city’s job creation strategy" and "grow, process, and manufacture more food right here in NYC." Other goals would be to push for higher wages, streamline food assistance benefits, and to mandate universal school lunches. The plan would create jobs, aid workers, bolster businesses, and protect the environment, its authors say.
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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.

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A new report brings the problem of food insecurity back to the table, citing new record highs even before Hurricane Sandy.

The number of New Yorkers living in households without enough food has hit an all time high of 1.4 million, or one in six, according to the report released earlier today by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

In the Bronx alone, 533,825 people, or 40 percent of the borough's residents, struggle against hunger, the report said. One in five over the age of 60, and over half of all Bronx children live in food insecure homes. Meanwhile, 90 percent of food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the Bronx reported an increase in the number of people served before the storm. Advocates believe that number has likely risen since Sandy.

"The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has had a tremendous impact on New York residents, especially those who are low-income," said Annabel Palma, chair of the New York City Council's general welfare committee, in a statement. "While we as a city will continue to rebuild after the storm and volunteer to assist storm victims, it is important to remember those for whom food insecurity and hunger were issues long before the hurricane."

From 2009 to 2011, nearly 474,000, or one in four children in New York, did not get enough food, the report said. That number is up 31 percent from 2006 to 2008, when 363,000, or one in five children struggled.

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