THE BRONX - The Food Bank for New York City says it is starved for funds and is calling for additional assistance after reviewing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 budget proposal.
The food bank is calling for $22 million in city funding to help its Emergency Food Assistance Program, which it says is a bloodline for 500 pantries and soup kitchens across the city.
Mayor de Blasio is looking to cut $1.8 million from the program and provide EFAP with $8.2 million of funding in his executive budget proposal.
Employees at food pantries say that would mean they’d only be able to provide about five meals in a pantry bag, instead of the state's nine meal standard.
The mayor's press secretary responded in a statement that says in part, "New York City is committed to reducing hunger by ensuring that all eligible New Yorkers enroll in SNAP, formerly known as food stamps... and beyond that HRA's Emergency Food Assistance Program is actively working with partners to increase the capacity and food supply of emergency food programs."
But the food pantry argues that New Yorkers have lost 116 million meals since federal SNAP cuts went into effect back in 2013.
There is still time for changes to be made to the budget before the City Council’s approval, which is due July 1.