NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More and more New Yorkers have been reaching out to soup kitchens to feed their families, new research showed Wednesday.
Research from the Food Bank for New York City revealed that most of the city's food pantries have seen a sharp increase in visitors.
The trend follows a $5 billion national cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that went into effect Nov. 1, CBS 2 reported.
The cuts affect nearly 2 million New York City residents who receive benefits from the program.
"Hunger should not be the punishment for poverty," said Margarette Purvis, president and chief executive officer of the Food Bank for New York City. "You shouldn't have the option of either you are rich or you can't feed yourself that really is unacceptable."
The food bank said it saw nearly half of food pantries and soup kitchens run out of food last November because of the increase of needy people.
"That is something that alarms us and distresses us. This is the last result for a food pantry or a soup kitchen, is to ration out food, and we're seeing a lot of food pantries rationing out," Food Bank for New York City senior director for government relations Triada Stampas told 1010 WINS.
The food bank helps provide 400,000 free meals per day for New Yorkers in need.
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