Food Insecurity & Hunger

Families coping with poverty face one of the most basic challenges of making ends meet, providing adequate and nutritious food for themselves and their children. CPSP’s research focuses on documenting and mapping the contours of food insecurity both in New York and in the nation, as well as the ways policies and programs can ease families’ struggle to keep food on the table.


Helmsley Food Insecurity Mapping

Food need and food assistance varies substantially across neighborhoods. With support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, CPSP is documenting the intensity of food hardship across New York City neighborhoods, as well as its cyclicality and seasonality.

Food Stamps & Consumption

The SNAP program provides low-income families with guaranteed support to purchase food and avoid hunger and food insecurity. But SNAP benefits may also free up critical resources to support non-food related consumption. With funding from the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, CPSP researchers are analyzing the effects of the SNAP program on such outcomes.

Cost of Living and SNAP on Healthy Nutrition

With funding from the United States Department of Agriculture , through the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, CPSP researchers and affiliates are investigating how cost-of-living moderates the SNAP program’s effects on purchases of healthy and nutritious foods. To read the working paper, click here!


The Poverty Impacts of the House Budget Proposal to Cut SNAP by 40%

In an effort to reduce spending and deficits, lawmakers are considering major reforms to entitlement programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Cuts to the safety net have drastic consequences for low-income Americans. The CPSP estimated the potential impacts of the House budget proposal to cut SNAP by 40% and found that such a cut would impact 24 million people and cause the poverty rate among SNAP recipients to increase by up to 10.9%. Read the brief to see all of our results.


SNAP Take-Up in NYC

Government policies and programs provide critical resources to low- and moderate-income families in need. But many eligible families do not access benefits to which they are eligible. Poverty Tracker data shows that nearly 1 in 4 SNAP-eligible NYC households don’t receive SNAP benefits. This report uses Poverty Tracker data to identify the groups that are less likely to take-up SNAP, despite their eligibility, and the life events associated with SNAP enrollment. Click here to read a summary of the findings and here to read the full report.


Use and Poverty Impacts of Food Pantries and Food Stamps in NYC

In this report, the CPSP uses Poverty Tracker data to document food insecurity in NYC and the potential impacts of increased food pantry use and SNAP receipt on the NYC poverty rate. We find that the poverty rate would fall 18% and more than 360,000 people would move out of poverty if all New Yorkers with a severe or moderate food hardship received weekly food aid through pantries or soup kitchens. Increasing SNAP take-up among SNAP-eligible households would also move over 200,000 New Yorkers out of poverty. Access the report here.