Going Hungry in NYC
As I sit in my family's house preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving today I find a new perspective to approach a recent statistic that 1 in 6 New York residents can not afford to purchase enough food to feed themselves and their families. Via the New York City Coalition Against Hunger;
During the most recent three year time period (2003-2005), 1,256,000 of the city's residents -- one in six -- lived in households that could not afford to purchase an adequate supply of food, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data analyzed by NYCCAH. During this time, 15.4% of city residents lived in those food insecure households, representing an approximately 112,000-person increase over the 2000-2003 time period, when 14.0% of New Yorkers lived in such households.
This is an astonishing fact given a short ferry ride from Staten Island puts one amidst the financial capital of the world, where the haves purchase million dollar apartments over looking this mecca of commerce and the have nots have limited access to food, housing, healthcare and education.
In 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York was the only state in the nation in which both poverty and overall earnings income increased, making the state a leader in inequality of wealth.
The problem is not contained in our five boroughs though as poverty has been disregarded across our country, notably in the wake of Congress's inaction on Hurricane relief that failed to deliver upon the promise that many immigrants hoped for upon site of the Statue of Liberty in our harbor. From a September 1 post;
All manner of politicians and columnists said in Katrina's wake that this was the time to revisit the problems of the destitute. The anguish of the people of New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward would have at least some redemptive power if the country took poverty seriously again.
It didn't happen. The innovative ideas that came from all sides were swept off the table. The poor became unfashionable once more. Congressional conservatives changed the conversation.
This is Staten Island (2001 Census);
9% of the residents of Staten Island lived in poverty
11% of related children under 18 were below the poverty level
6% of people 65 years old and over were below the poverty level
8% of all families and 27% of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level
This country has given the keys to DC to Democrats once again after placing their hopes in the hands of Republicans to no avail. Poverty. Mimimum wage. Healthcare. Access to an equal education. These are the moral issues of today.
For more on poverty and Staten Island;
The Reality of Poverty
Fossella's Salary vs. Poverty
Today's Census Poverty Numbers
WFP on Poverty Numbers