More New Yorkers struggling with rising food prices as costs outpace income, poll says

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
New poll finds New Yorkers struggling with rising food prices
Sonia Rincon has more on how New Yorkers are navigating rising food prices.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new poll has found that 85% of New Yorkers say the cost of food is rising faster than their income, resulting in four out of five households finding it harder to afford groceries over the last year.

The poll, commissioned by No Kid Hungry New York, was released on Tuesday amid an ongoing affordability crisis.

The challenges are also impacting how much food New Yorkers are buying and what they are choosing. They are changing their grocery shopping habits and sacrificing time and healthier eating to extend their food budget.

"I mean, you want to eat healthy, you know, and you want to be able to be healthy. But unfortunately, the economy is not allowing for that," said East Harlem resident Jose Munoz.

Just under half of New Yorkers (43%) reported a sign of food insecurity due to rising prices like eating less nutritious food or not having enough to eat.

Roughly half of New Yorkers said they now purchase less or no fresh produce and proteins like meat because of their cost. And the rising prices are not only impacting New Yorkers of low incomes.

"It doesn't matter if they make $30,000 or $100,000. This is something felt by New Yorkers of all incomes," said Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York.

That's because while very few people got double-digit raises in the last few years, groceries saw double-digit percentage increases.

Items like cereals and bakery products are up 26%. Meats, poultry, fish and eggs are up nearly 25%, and fruits and vegetables are up 16%.

"Eggs. Like there was like a short reprieve on the price of eggs. And now all of a sudden, they're skyrocketing," Munoz said.

The poll says parents of schoolchildren and rural households are hurting the most, with 87% saying their incomes aren't keeping up with the cost of food.

"When children start the day with a nutritious breakfast, when they have that protein, they grow stronger," Sabella said. "They have higher attendance rates. They do better in school on exams, but they also have less chronic health issues."

No Kid Hungry is advocating for more assistance programs like one from the state offering families $120 per child for groceries in the summer months.

"These can be used in green markets. They can be used at grocery stores. They can be used at a local bodega," Sabella said.

Grocery prices are not expected to come down all that much all that soon.

Without assistance programs, New Yorkers like Cynthia Chrichlow, for whom eating healthy is still a must, are comparison shopping.

"I find sales like in this store. I go to that store, different stores that have good prices, and it takes a lot of energy to do this," she said.

Sabella spoke to the Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team about the survey

The Mornings @ 10 team talk childhood hunger with No Kid Hungry's director.


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