November 2023

Spotlight on: Food Hardship and Compounding Financial and Health Issues

Exploring compounding hardships and health challenges among New Yorkers struggling to afford food

Contributors: Christopher Yera, Lily Bushman-Copp, Sophie Collyer, Yajun Jia, Anastasia Koutavas, Vicki Lens, Chloe Sarnoff, Christopher Wimer

Issues Areas: Financial Security, Food Hardship, Health & Well-Being, Households With Children, Housing Hardship

Poverty Tracker data finds that, in 2022, more than a third (34%) of adults and almost half (43%) of families with children in New York City experienced food hardship. Nearly 1 in 10 adults, and families with children, experienced severe food hardship in 2022. The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers facing severe food hardship also experience at least one other material hardship, such as having utilities shut off, staying in a shelter, running out of money, or not seeing a doctor because of cost.

A graph depicting food hardship rates in New York City

Source: Annual Poverty Tracker survey data; second, third, fourth, and fifth cohorts. Data representative of calendar years 2016 to 2021. Note: Severe food hardship is defined as often running out of food or worrying food would run out before having money to buy more; moderate food hardship is defined as sometimes experiencing these conditions and not facing severe food hardship.