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One in six New Yorkers are living in hunger: food group

NEW YORK -- More than one million New Yorkers are unable to feed themselves adequately, a coalition of anti-poverty groups said Wednesday, criticizing the U.S. government for cutting emergency food aid.

The New York City Coalition Against Hunger said that 1.3 million city residents — around one in six people — lived in households that were food insecure, or unable to afford an adequate and consistent supply of food.

"This annual survey of food pantries and soup kitchens shows that more working families, children, and seniors are being forced to seek emergency food," Joel Berg, the group's executive director, said in a statement.

"Given that hunger continued to increase in the city, even when the economy was still strong last year, it is no wonder that now, when the economy is weakening, lines at pantries and kitchens are getting even worse," he said.

The coalition, which represents around 1,200 soup kitchens and food pantries, said the U.S. government had cut federal resources provided to city kitchens by 5.4 million kilos (12 million pounds) of food in 2007.

"These struggling programs — often run by unpaid volunteers — simply can't keep up," he said.

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