Brooklyn’s Meals Hole – The New York Instances

A map of the food gap by community in Brooklyn provides perhaps one of the most striking examples of the relationship between gentrification and poverty. Some of the neighborhoods with the highest deprivation rates are those where the external impetus for remodeling and renovation has been most dramatic (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens) and those where the displaced were then exiled (Canarsie , East Flatbush, Brownsville, Ocean Hill) driving up rents in a reverberant effect. Because Brooklyn had lower unemployment than the Bronx and there was no significant difference in food cost growth between the two counties, the researchers found that housing costs were the leading cause of food sacrifice.

The Bed Stuy Hunger Campaign, one of the city’s most active pantries, sits at the center of the storm at the Bed Stuy intersection, where the price of a single family home has almost tripled in the past decade where rents have increased are and Brownsville and Ocean Hill, two of the poorest areas in the city. The pantry was founded in 1998 by Melony Samuels, a former insurance manager who imagined that her mission could only be temporary. It served approximately 5,000 people a month from its Fulton Street location in 2006 and now serves three times as many. (The organization’s mobile units reach an additional 15,000 in Brooklyn and the Bronx.)

Because the Hunger Campaign keeps detailed records of its clients, works closely with them, and helps with tax preparation as part of its self-assigned duties, it knows a lot about those who come to the facility. About 15 percent have some form of higher education – that trend has turned upwards since the recession. Some of them teach in public schools or are otherwise employed in the city.

One recent morning when I was visiting the lines were long. A woman, Veronica Logrande, who comes regularly (customers are allowed to use the pantry once a month), lives in an animal shelter with her husband and their only child. Her income, including all benefits, is just under $ 700 a month, she told me. She found it hard to get walnuts when she saw them, which she loved to roast and drizzle with honey as a snack for her son because she viewed them as an extravaganza. The amount of US dollar groceries that a customer can take home depends on the specifics of individual or family needs.

One relatively positive change over the past three years, Ms. Samuels said, is a shift in shopping patterns, with those who visit coming in earlier in the month rather than later after the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dollars cut in last few years. People will come in to get fish and chicken and then use their SNAP benefits more broadly and efficiently in the market.

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