An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers ended on December 28, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed.
The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work.
Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.
In New York City, one of the richest cities in the world, food poverty is around every corner and New Yorkers are feeling the pinch. Throughout the five boroughs, approximately 1.4 million people — mainly women, children, seniors, the working poor and people with disabilities — rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.
Approximately 2.6 million New Yorkers experience difficulty affording food for themselves and their families. With food prices steadily rising, struggling New Yorkers' ability to buy food for themselves and their families is at a crisis level.
To make matters worse, approximately 3 million New Yorkers live in low-income neighborhoods that lack access to affordable, nutritious food.
With their budgets already strained, and the prevalence of low-cost, low-quality food in these neighborhoods, these residents face significant challenges in maintaining a healthy lifestyle — leading to high concentrations of diet-related conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
While many charity groups are helping the poor one group in particular has been hard at work, "Muslims Giving Back". Their mission is to establish a group effort that will allow us to exercise our mandatory humanitarian duty of helping the poor.