10 Facts about Hunger on Long Island | Community Solidarity

1. Approximately 283,700 people will suffer from hunger on Long Island at some point this year. Approximately 182,000 people will go hungry on Long Island tonight! 72,980 of those will be children! 

2. 39 percent of those affected by hunger on Long Island are children. Children are among the largest single population of hungry on Long Island. They have no voice or ability to change their situation. Their needs are often dismissed and overlooked. Worse, they must rely on others to access the feeding programs and services they need.

3. Hungry children are more likely than their peers to experience behavioral issues. They often suffer from reduced ability to learn social skills. They suffer from impaired cognitive learning and even permanent brain damage.

Find out more about Children’s Nutrition programs available through Winthrop Pediatric Associates. If you know a child in need on Long Island pass on the following information. Organic produce and healthy groceries are available for free at all Community Solidarity. A list of our Food Share locations is available here.

4. 70 percent of those who face hunger on Long Island are from minority populations. They often face education, language and employment barriers.

5. 48 percent of households receiving emergency food assistance are the “working poor”. These are households that include at least one employed adult. Of these, 63% have monthly incomes below the federal poverty level. Half of those working families report having to choose between necessities and food. Many are often faced with having to choose between paying the rent, and utilities, or paying for food.

6. The effects of hunger on the working poor range from lack of stamina to increased illness. These often increases missed work time and create feelings of hopelessness and despair.

7. The elderly make up 4 percent of Long Island’s hungry. Seniors are among the hungry for many reasons. These can include not having enough income to afford nutritious food. They can suffer from depression and loneliness. Worse, many are too proud to request help.

Seniors who are hungry experience depression and anxiety. They are also at increased risk for illness, disease, and even premature death.

8. About 6 percent of Long Islanders receiving food assistance are homeless. Often these people are the victims of various kinds of abuse and in need of mental health services. Some have pushed out of closed mental health facilities. Facilities and institutions shuttered because of lack of state funds.

9. Many of these individuals also suffer from physical disabilities. Those disabilities often limit their employment opportunities.

10. Long Island food banks don't adequate healthy food options. Soup kitchens and food pantries don't have lots of fresh produce. Because of this, people who face hunger are often forced to accept unhealthily junk foods. Foods that lead to increased risks of health ailments.

Community Solidarity is fixing this problem by sharing nutritious groceries. Over 50% of what Community Solidarity shares is fresh produce! Read on to learn how we do it, and how you can help.

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