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Report: Number Of New York City Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens Down 25 Percent In Five Years

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A new report from the Food Bank for New York City found a quarter of the city's food pantries and soup kitchens have closed since the recession began in 2007.

The dwindling supply is coupled with greater demand for free meals, also due to the recession, according to the non-profit organization.

"We have lost almost 250 food pantries and soup kitchens, again, at a time when need really remains high," Triada Stampas with the Food Bank for New York City told WCBS 880.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Full Report (.pdf)

The data was compiled before superstorm Sandy struck, which caused a surge in demand for food banks. The organization said the natural disaster illustrates the need for food relief in disasters.

"We've seen that food shortages are more commonplace and occur more broadly in our network and when people are turned away from a food pantry or a soup kitchen, it is most commonly due to a lack of food," Stampas told WCBS 880.

The anti-hunger group's report called for greater investment in the emergency food provider network.

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