BROOKLYN - Two new studies being released show a rising number of Brooklyn and city residents are experiencing increasing difficulty putting food on the table.

A report from the Food Bank of New York says the percentage of Brooklyn residents unable to afford food went up by 75 percent since 2003. That increase is the highest of the five boroughs.

That study also says the number of people going hungry in New York City rose from 2 million to 3 million between 2003 and 2006. The study says middle income homes is one of the groups being hit hard by these trends ? experiencing an 86 percent increase over the three years. The study also identifies blacks and Hispanics as groups having more trouble affording food.

A second study says those rates are creating a financial burden in the city. The New York Coalition against Hunger says these changes are costing New York City taxpayers nearly $2.7 billion dollars per year.