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Study: Food Pantries In New York State Serving More Seniors, Fewer Children

A volunteer packs a bag of food stuffs for waiting people at the Yorkville Common Pantry in Harlem (file/Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

A volunteer packs a bag of food stuffs for waiting people at the Yorkville Common Pantry in Harlem (file/Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new study finds more seniors at food pantries and soup kitchens than 25 years ago.

That shows that emergency food programs in New York State are evolving more into supplemental sources for families needing long-term help, according to the report.

The study by Hunger Action Network showed that statewide, seniors make up about 20 percent of the visitors at food pantries, compared with 4 percent in 1987.

The survey also showed that about one-third of those at food pantries are children, compared with 52 percent in 1987.

The report also notes that less than half of the program visitors receive food stamps, though most are eligible for the subsidy.

Meantime, the Hunger Action Network report shows that two-thirds of food pantries and soup kitchens have reported a drop in food donations while the majority of them said they served more people last year.

About 4 in 10 food programs said they had to turn some people away in the past year due to a food shortage.

The study was compiled based on 560 surveys sent in by emergency food programs statewide.

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