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Food Insecurity On Long Island Drops, Reversing Trend During Pandemic

Food Pantry
Davis Dunavin

Food assistance programs on Long Island say fewer residents are struggling with food insecurity. This comes as people return to work and receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The nonprofit Long Island Cares said nearly 20% fewer people are visiting their food pantries since the vaccine rollout started, compared to the start of the pandemic.

Paule Pachter, the CEO of Long Island Cares, said this data follows the nationwide trend of declining food insecurity as jobs reopen. He added that people are leaving Long Island for cheaper housing.

“We’re on the right trajectory in terms of food insecurity with the numbers coming down. It would've been nice if they came down even more but I think we’ll see that next year,” Pachter said.

Pachter said visits to six satellite food bank locations has decreased by 18% overall, but 285,000 residents still need food assistance on Long Island.

Long Island Cares had a 70% increase in residents needing food assistance from the start of the pandemic to March of this year. The organization helped close to 480,000 residents.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.