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BENSONHURST, Brooklyn – Tickets full of food orders are lined up at Reaching Out Community Services this time of year. The Bensonhurst Food Pantry serves more than 7,000 families in the neighborhood. Most don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

“Thanksgiving is everyday when it comes to this organization because we don’t want to make sure that people do not go without food,” said Reaching Out Founder Tom Neve.

According to a new report more than 1.4-million New Yorkers are dealing with food insecurity – which means they have to change their eating habits because they can’t afford to put food on the table.  So, they depend on food pantries like Reaching Out.

“Everything is so expensive right now and it actually really helps a lot.  Especially you have to share the family on special days like Thanksgiving,” said Maggie Martell.​

“Very important for me and my family because we’re on a fixed budget,” said Miriam Soto.

The New York City Coalition to End Hunger found that more than 500,000 of those people live in Brooklyn, more than any other borough. And almost half of New Yorkers suffering from food insecurity live in homes where at least one person is employed.

“Something is definitely wrong when full-time workers and their children go hungry,” said Joel Berg Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

Neve has seen the demand first hand. This year the food pantry registered 2-thousand more families than last year.

“The amount of people coming into the program just overwhelmed us to the point where we either had to take out about 500 families, no longer take new families on, or come up with a concept that would work.”

To help meet the demand and speed up the process, Reaching Out has come up with a digital food pantry which shows everything they have in stock.  Customers can choose what they want and the order is sent to workers who put together the order faster than ever before.

“Whatever took us 15 to 20 minutes to walk around with a client, we can now service them in about three to five minutes,” said Neve.

The system helps them keep track of inventory, shows items for specific diets, and still gives customers the choice.

A nice perk considering most clients wish they didn’t need the help in the first place.

“They come here reluctantly, but they have no choice,” said Neve.  “It’s a choice between shoplifting and finding a food pantry.”

If the problem continues, that choice may disappear.  According to the study, funding cuts to the Federal SNAP program, commonly referred to as food stamps, has put a bigger burden on food pantries.  Only half of those pantries said they have the resources to meet the growing demand.  Which is why Neve says donations of any kind are always welcome.