By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MANHATTAN— Millions of city residents are now dependent on food stamps after a huge increase in claimants in the past year, the New York Daily News reported.
New York State's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance counts 2 million New York residents as food stamp beneficiaries, up from 1.6 million who relied on the service in 2009, the paper reported. Of those, more than 268,000 live in Manhattan, according to the City's Human Resources Administration, Department of Social Services.
"People aren't finding work and, if they are finding work, they are getting less hours and less pay," said Mark Dunlea, executive director of the Hunger Action Network, to the News.
Statewide, 3 million people are dependent on food stamps for their groceries, a record high that is also an 11 percent increase over 2009 and a 65 percent increase over the last five years, the paper reported.
Individuals on food stamps receive $150 a month to meet their grocery needs, which advocates say isn't enough amid rising food prices.
Many people on food stamp assistance supplement their aid with visits to food pantries, Dunlea said to the News.