Research & Policy Development

Hunger Free America is leading the national advocacy movement to end hunger in America.

Our groundbreaking advocacy campaigns and original research provide sound data to support our fight to end hunger and increase equality across the nation.

Our community organizing, and policy and research efforts, provide a national model for peer organizations in the anti-hunger movement. Working with officials at every level of government, we advance policies to end hunger and promote economic justice. 


We conduct original research on hunger and poverty in New York City and America to help the public better understand the causes of, and solutions to, hunger and poverty. Our research informs our policy recommendations and is a valuable tool for partner organizations and elected officials alike. Our research publications are often cited by leading elected officials, top national news outlets, and used as a point of reference in developing government policies.

Annual Survey & Hunger Report

The most widely cited data on hunger in New York City, our Annual Hunger Survey Report provides original data on hunger across the five boroughs, and collects information from emergency food providers. Our 2017 report found that hunger and poverty remain high, with kitchens and pantries struggling to meet increased demand.

The report was released Thanksgiving week and promoted at press conferences in all five boroughs with the Mayor, citywide officials, and community leaders. 

Key findings from the report include:

Fully 41.2 million Americans (more than the combined populations of Texas, Michigan, and Maine) – including 12.9 children – struggled against hunger nationwide in 2016

1.1 million New York City residents are food insecure

1 in 5 NYC children live in food insecure homes

1 in 8 NYC seniors are food insecure

Statewide 1 in 8 New Yorkers are food insecure

NYC pantries and kitchens reported a 6 percent increase in demand in 2017

Of the city’s pantries and kitchens, 37.9% indicated they were not distributing enough food to meet demand, and 35.4% indicated they had to turn people away, reduce the amount of food, or limit their hours of operation in 2017

To view the 2017 report click here.

Most Recent Research:

SNAP Declines Yet Hunger Persists: NYC Caseloads 2012-2016 and the Need to Ease Access to Benefits

This study analyzed data on SNAP caseloads, economic trends, and surveys of SNAP applicants and participants to better understand the large drop in SNAP participation over this period and to identify strategies to improve access to SNAP benefits for all New Yorkers in need of food assistance.