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Year in Review

2022 — Year in Review

By December 23, 2022No Comments

In 2022, hunger was prevalent in communities across the state. These are children who go to bed hungry, senior citizens who have to decide between buying groceries and purchasing medication, and parents who do without so their kids can have enough to eat. Through our work on essential federal nutrition programs, we helped thousands of hungry children, seniors, and other vulnerable New Yorkers gain consistent access to nutritious food.

As the year comes to a close, we are proud to present an overview of our achievements:

Our Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) offers confidential, one-on-one assistance with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment across the state. In the last year, NOEP educated 129,495 potentially eligible individuals about SNAP, prescreened 47,855 households for SNAP eligibility, and ultimately assisted 26,027 households enroll in SNAP, providing critical access to the food they need to nourish themselves and their families. Beyond enrollment support, NOEP connected with 4,225 vulnerable households to provide individualized assistance through home visits or translation services.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides healthy food, nutrition education and other essential supports to pregnant women, new moms, infants and children under age five. The first year of our WIC Help New York outreach and education project showed exciting results, contributing to a four percent increase in WIC enrollment and a five percent increase in participation statewide. With these gains, more low-income infants and children in New York are getting a healthy start with better access to WIC.

School meals played a critical role in reducing childhood hunger during the pandemic, and they continue to provide an essential support to families facing higher prices for food and other essential goods. We helped 20 schools in nine school districts newly adopt Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a federal option that allows high-poverty schools provide free breakfast and lunch to all students, in the 2021-22 school year. This resulted in an additional 8,504 students attending a CEP school who received free healthy meals during the school day.

Children must be fed outside the classroom, too. We provide afterschool programs, child care providers and summer program operators with information, education, technical assistance and resources to ensure kids have access to the year-round nutrition they need to learn, grow and thrive. In 2022, our Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) outreach project contributed to a statewide increase of 27 newly approved CACFP sponsors and 119 new sites providing healthy meals for children in care. Our statewide outreach and technical assistance for summer meals supported strong participation across the state, with over 470 sponsors approved to operate more than 2,700 meal sites in summer 2022.

Through our advocacy work, we fought for policies that improve food security, create solutions to hunger, and expand nutrition assistance programs, working alongside partner agencies, local providers, and community leaders. In 2022 we successfully advocated for a $1 million funding increase for the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP). This added capacity enables us to provide NOEP services in every county in the state and to connect more New Yorkers in need to SNAP. Looking ahead, we aim to secure additional state investments in NOEP, while working to protect and strengthen SNAP in the 2023 federal Farm Bill.

The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered many inequities, including those faced by children in communities where free meals are not available to all. When COVID-related federal waivers ended in June 2022, more than 726,000 students in nearly 2,000 NYS schools lost access to free school meals. In partnership with advocates and organizations around the state, this year we launched the Healthy School Meals for All New York Kids campaign to secure permanent free, healthy school meals for all children in the state. To date, more than 240 leading health, education, and anti-hunger organizations have joined the campaign, urging New York State to establish and fund healthy school meals for all in the upcoming FY2024 state budget. Hunger Solutions New York is leading the charge, building strong momentum through ongoing coalition-building, media engagement, and advocacy.

In 2023, we will continue to work tirelessly improve and expand these vital nutrition programs and put nutritious food in reach of more New Yorkers. Please consider joining us in the fight against hunger by making a generous donation today.

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