Testimony of Annette Jackson, Food Action Board Member,
Hunger Free NYC
Hearing before the New York City Council Committee on Committee on General Welfare
February 13th, 2018
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for inviting us to give testimony. My name is Annette Jackson. I am retired senior citizen after a career in advertising and on the Board of Education. I am a United States citizen, a registered voter in the state of New York and I live in the borough of Manhattan. I am proud to be a Food Action Board member, with Hunger Free NYC, formally known as the New York Coalition Against Hunger. This organization advocates on behalf of the low income in New York. I am also a volunteer with the food pantry at West Side Campaign Against Hunger on 86 St. in Manhattan. I have been there for five years. During these years, I’ve seen hundreds of hungry people and families coming to the pantry, to get food for the week and to eat at our soup kitchen.
I have being struggle since 1960 when I move from North Carolina to New York. Today I am a widow and still struggle for myself. I know how hard is to make ends meet. I have been there, and that is the reason I volunteer here at the food pantry to help others avoid what I went through when I raising my family while working and earning minimum wage. Back then and still today, there are many challenges for the low income people in New York, please do not cut programming we need all the vital services to feed the hungry.
There are too many families and people living in poverty, in shelters, and in food insecurity. I see senior citizens, unemployed people, immigrants from many countries, veterans, disabled people, and single mothers with families coming to the pantry. They all need to eat and they all need be feed. If SNAP (food stamps), as well as funding for food pantries and soup kitchens are cut or discontinued it would be devastating to so many people trying to feed their families and children.
I believe that the inability to get enough to eat will increase so many other problems in the city, because without food everything becomes harder. Food is a necessity. Seniors citizen will be more vulnerable to this problems. I am here today to tell you, we need our SNAP Program, food pantries, and soup kitchens. I see hundreds of families who survive from this program, I see homeless, immigrants, and low income New Yorkers from all the borough who are in need of these nutrition programs. Please do not cut or discontinue them. I am a senior citizen, a mother, and a Grandmother who knows how important these programs are for our low income families and for anyone who is in need of these great programs in our great city of New York.
Now my question to all of you who are listening today on the General Welfare Committee, is if they cut the SNAP Program, soup kitchens, and food pantries how will low income, our most vulnerable senior citizens, children, and families find food, where will these people eat?
God bless and thank you for listening.