New York City pays an estimated $2.65 billion per year due to health care spending, reduced productivity, and other spending caused by the fact that 1.3 million city residents are forced to live in households that cannot afford enough food, according to new data released today by advocates to mark National Hunger Awareness Day. The cost to each city resident is $335 per year.
According to a national study released today by Dr. Larry Brown of the Harvard University School of Public Health, it costs the nation $90 billion a year to let 35 million people live in households that are unable to afford enough to eat. This is the first-ever study to calculate the cost of hunger and food insecurity not only for the victims but for the entire nation. The New York State portion of this bill comes to $5.37 billion a year, equaling a yearly cost of $278 per state resident. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton noted the study on her website, stating, "These are staggering statistics that must not be ignored."
"We’ve known for quite some time the heart-breaking reality that, when families can’t afford enough food, their quality of life suffers in many ways." said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. "As a result of this groundbreaking study, we also know much more about how much the persistence of hunger costs all of us."