Hunger in Westchester County

The most current information about hunger in Westchester County comes from a comprehensive study conducted by Feeding America in 2009 and published in Hunger in America 2010. 

Although Westchester County is often reported to be one of the wealthiest counties in the country, we have a poverty rate of 8.8% meaning approximately 83,000 residents are living at or below the federal poverty level.  In households that are headed by women, with no husband or partner present, this percentage skyrockets to 22.4%.

Approximately 200,000 people, or 21% of Westchester County residents, are hungry or at risk of hunger and 86,900 are receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps).  More than 5 million meals were served in 2012 by soup kitchens in Westchester County, and many of these meals were served to children.

Food Distribution Programs

There are hundreds of hunger relief organizations in Westchester County providing food and meals for a broad range of households.

  • 33% have children under the age of 18
  • 8% are children ages 0 to 5
  • 58% are female
  • 51% are seniors on a fixed income
  • 41% include at least one employed adult
  • 66% have incomes below the federal poverty level
  • 1% are homeless
  • 79% are food insecure
  • 31% are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • 59% participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • 46% and 39% participate in the federal school lunch and school breakfast programs, respectively
  • 8% participate in the summer food program for school aged children