Officials at the Food Bank for New York City say money and food donations are down about 12 percent.
The St. John's Bread and Life Soup Kitchen, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which gets its meals from the Food Bank, says it saw a 26 percent increase in the number of people looking for help in the second half of last year.
Brooklyn resident Kim Vegas used to bring her son Samwell to the St. John's Bread and Life soup kitchen once a month. Now, unemployed and cash-strapped, she said she is visiting a lot more.
"We come every day for breakfast and once a month for the food pantry, and if my son needs medical assistance, they help me," said Vegas.
Data input worker Anthony Pickney, 44, is unemployed and says he has no choice but to start his day at the soup kitchen, every day.
"I can come here, get a good meal and strength to go out and look for a job," he said.
"We've been seeing a 26 percent increase in patrons," said Anthony Butler of St. John's Bread and Life. "They're new people; they're seniors, who have more people moving back in with them while they're on a fixed income."
The soup kitchen says it is on target to provide 400,000 meals this year.
The soup kitchen's pantry is also seeing more going out then coming in. Demand is up 42 percent. And the mobile soup kitchen is seeing a 30 percent increase in the number of meals distributed.
"One in four New Yorkers lacks savings and are worried they can't afford food in the near future," said Carlos Rodriguez of the Food Bank for NYC.
The Food Bank projects two-million more people who never used the Food Bank will, as the economy sputters and sheds jobs. That's about double the number of people who currently use food pantries.
However, food and cash donations cannot keep up with the increased demand. If this continues, officials are worried that a food pantry or soup kitchen will be forced to close.
Those who would like more information on how to make a donation or be a volunteer, go to FoodBankNYC.org.