THE BRONX - Two new studies show a rising number of Bronx residents are experiencing increasing difficulty putting food on the table.

A study from the Food Bank of New York says the number of people going hungry in New York City rose from 2 million to 3 million between 2003 and 2006. The study says middle income homes is one of the groups being hit hard by these trends ? experiencing an 86 percent increase over the three years. The study also identifies blacks and Hispanics as groups having more trouble affording food.

A second study says those rates are creating a financial burden in the city. The New York Coalition Against Hunger says these changes are costing New York City taxpayers nearly $2.7 billion per year.