In New York, approximately 2.6 million people experience difficulty affording food for themselves and their families. Many residents must choose between paying for food or paying for necessities such as rent, utilities, transportation, health care, child care and medicine, according to the Food Bank For New York City.
With food prices on the rise, the lack of basics have reached what the organization calls crisis levels, and the people most affected are women.
The organization says 80 percent of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) recipients are female, 22 percent of all NYC women are living below the poverty level and one out of six women in New York City rely on emergency food programs. It's a void the organization's head is seeking to fill.
"We're in a place of embracing where hunger really is," said Margarette Purvis, president and chief executive officer of the Food Bank For New York City. "Hunger is primarily a woman's issue."
"Moms and their kids, it's the definition of the most vulnerable," Purvis told CNBC in an interview. Women who are at the bottom, they are going to end up at a food pantry line, it's a reality for a lot of people."
Purvis assessment dovetailed with findings from the National Women's Law Center, which found in a 2014 report that nearly 18 million women across the U.S. lived in poor conditions. Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the NWLC said female poverty rates were "substantially above" those of men.