Photo Essay

  • Denroy Stoner Sr. kisses his wife, Winsome, after she gives him the food she cooked for him in their Bedford Stuyvesant apartment Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Kezia Stoner, 3, and her sister, Ashley, 7, await dinner in the family kitchen.
  • Winsome Stoner and her daughter, Stephanie Josephs, 19, prepare the family dinner in a narrow Brooklyn apartment kitchen.
  • Winsome Stoner prepares fresh vegetables for dinner in her family’s Bedford Stuyvesant apartment, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Jr. after church in the kitchen of his family’s Bedford Stuyvesant apartment, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • The Stoner family’s refrigerator.
  • Stephanie Josephs puts freshly cooked pasta onto plates for dinner at the Stoner family apartment.
  • Kezia Stoner, 3, plays with a doll while her mother, Winsome, cooks dinner in the family’s Bedford Stuyvesant apartment, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Kezia Stoner, 3, and her sister, Ashley, 7, eat dinner cooked by their mother, Winsome, in the family’s Bedford Stuyvesant apartment, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Stephanie Josephs, right, during the second Sunday service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Sr. in the front row for Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Sr. with his youngest daughter, Kezia, 3, in the front row for Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • (L) Denroy Stoner Jr., left, in Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y. (R) Stephanie Josephs testifies during the second Sunday service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church.
  • Denroy Stoner Jr., center, works as an usher during Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Jr. in Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Jr., center, at the close of Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Zenzili Thomas, 20, left, Shaunté Whittaker and Denroy Stoner at a table with prepared lunch on Fulton Street after Sunday services  at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Jr. eats lunch on Fulton Street after Sunday services at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Denroy Stoner Sr. eats lunch prepared at Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith Church on Fulton Street, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y., after Sunday services.
  • Winsome Stoner at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry. She helps people with refrigerated food selections here.
  • People wait in line along Fulton Street for the opening of the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger.
  • Longtime volunteer Maxine Huckaby, center, with Winsome Stoner at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry.
  • Shopping carts wait for shoppers at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry.
  • Carlton James at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Rollie Hernandez waters the leafy greens at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry garden.
  • Program Director Tamara Dawson put several of these golden deer at the end of vegetable rows to “guard” them in the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry’s garden.
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One family, trying to keep food on the table

Updated

Over the past five years, America has quietly slipped into a hunger crisis. It began in 2008, when hunger and food insecurity spiked across the country as a result of the financial collapse. Congress authorized tens of billions of dollars for food stamps and other nutrition programs to slow the rise of hunger, but not enough to bring it back down to pre-recession levels.

Last year, 49 million Americans suffered from food insecurity. Food stamp use has risen to historic levels, and food pantries are struggling to keep up with unprecedented need for their services. And instead of getting better, things are about to get much, much worse.

The food stamps program will receive an automatic $5 billion cut on Nov. 1, affecting every single family that relies on the program. Photographer John Trotter spent time with one of those families: Brooklyn’s Winsome Stoner, her husband, and her five children.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography.