Food insecurity has jumped by 36%. It’s higher among children. An estimated 1 in 4 children don’t have enough to eat — a 46% increase over pre-pandemic numbers according to Feeding America, one of the leading anti-hunger nonprofits.
One group of activists has been feeding communities on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Allerton neighborhood of the central Bronx, installing community refrigerators in schools and delivering bags of groceries for parents to take home when they pick up their children.
What sets the effort apart is the food is all plant-based. These kinds of leafy greens and fresh fruit can be too expensive for food-insecure families to afford or difficult to find in neighborhoods with few supermarkets.
Faced with higher needs and a shrinking social safety net, this group of volunteers is finding it harder to feed everybody.
This is their story.
Photographed for Chalkbeat with words by Christina Veiga.