Monday, December 18, 2006
Earlier today, Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition, offered brief testimony to the New York City Council in support of the Ready Access to Assistance (REAACT) bill offered by Councilman Bill deBlasio (Intro. 359). This bill would once again allow advocates and non-profit volunteers into government offices to assist applicants in knowing their rights and obtaining benefits. The practice, disallowed under the Giuliani administration, would "enable city residents to get the best possible service from their government," according to Berg.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Holiday Gift to the Hungry: Another dip in Food Stamps participation, and (not coincidentally) City timeliness rates
Said Joel Berg, executive director of NYCCAH, “Mayor Bloomberg often speaks about the importance of having solid data upon which to base decisions. Now that there is clear proof that Food Stamps Program participation is dipping in the City even as it is increasing Statewide and even as hunger is soaring, I hope the Mayor accepts the reality that the City is at fault for placing too many barriers in the way of program access. I hope he directs his new Food Policy Task Force and his new Food Policy Coordinator to make it a top priority to fix this broken program.”
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Update: These numbers generated stories Thanksgiving week from the following print outlets: the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Newsday, Metro NY, AM NY, Hoy, El Diario La Prensa, Queens Chronicle, Queens Tribune, Queens Ledger, Brooklyn Courier Life, City Limits Weekly, Christian Post and People’s Daily Online, and the wire services Associated Press, Agence France Presse and Xinhua. Segments aired on the following television programs: NBC News, ABC News, NY1 News, NY1 “Inside City Hall,” NY1 “The Call,” Univision Noticias, Telemundo Noticias, My9 News, WPIX News, Brooklyn/Bronx 12 News, Fox 5 News (unconfirmed), and Bronx Net “Bronx Talk.” Radio segments aired on the following stations: WNYC News, 1010 WINS, WWRL “The Armstrong Williams Show,” WBAI News, WBAI “Talkback w/ Hugh Hamilton” and WBAI “Wake-Up Call.”
Monday, November 20, 2006
Update: The Daily News has learned that 3%, or approximately 8,000 city employees, make so little that they are forced to use food stamps to feed their families.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Groundbreaking Mapping Study reveals link between obesity and hunger and lack of Fresh Produce in low-income neighborhoods
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, also attended, and stated that only 23 percent of welfare recipients in New York City have left welfare because they found work, and one-quarter of those were no longer employed six months later.
In his testimony regarding welfare reform, Berg said you cannot judge the success of welfare reform solely by how many people leave welfare for work. He likened this to judging the success of a hospital solely by how many people leave. Berg stated, "you never hear a public official say: 'Well, fewer people are getting social security, great!'"
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) just released data indicating participation in the Food Stamp Program in
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
A response by Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, was quick to follow after Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his commission against poverty released the Economic Opportunity Report in September. The economic report released by Bloomberg outlines goals that the Bloomberg administration is tackling to combat poverty. It also focuses on three specific poverty groups; children, young adults 16-24, and the working poor. Berg agrees that this is a good place to start, since these groups comprise a large percentage of New Yorkers living in poverty, although other populations living in poverty should not be forgotten.
Berg also said, "We certainly support the call to increase access to work supports such as food stamp benefits and child care. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly support the creation of poverty measurements that more accurately reflect the daily reality of low-income people living in a city as expensive as
Monday, October 02, 2006
The Bloomberg Administration has proposed a ban on most trans fats in
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Turnover in Emergency Shelter Grants; Nassau, Bronx Lose Funding
This year’s award of Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) by the State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has seen considerable turnover among grantees and a complete loss of funding for several high need counties. Nassau County’s only two prior recipients of ESG funding – the Interfaith Nutrition Network (The INN) and the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV)– both lost out in this year's grant awards leaving the County with no ESG grantees. The Bronx also will go without a single ESG award this year. Citizen’s Advice Bureau had been the borough’s only ESG- funded provider in the prior round of awards.
The turnover was the result of an increase number of proposals for the FY2006 program, explained John Sheedy of OTDA’s Public Information Office. Funds were not allocated based on geography, he explained, “the determination of grant awards was based solely on how the organizations ranked.” Statewide, the ESG funding remained virtually constant from year to year at almost $3.1 million. A total of 33 awards were made this year versus 35 last year.
“NCCADV had received grants for the past eight years and we have received grants for the past 11 years,” said Jean Kelly, Executive Director of The INN. The INN had used its $100,000 ESG funding to support work at its three shelters in the county. While the ESG grant represents only a small portion of the agency’s overall budget for shelters, the loss is crucial in light of fundraising pressures, explained Kelly. “We are already operating at a loss. At this time, we are having to consider closing one of our shelters. It would be about 8 families and 35-40 people not having a place to go.”
New York City’s allocation fell by 17% from $833,338 in 2005 to $733,212 in 2006.
A full list of local ESG awardees for 2006 is attached.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
New policies to help the poor people of
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The census report was the top story on NY1 News. Joel Berg, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Hunger was quoted saying “The bad news is hunger and poverty continue to be significant major problems in New York, affecting one in five New Yorkers. The good news is if the government shows real leadership, and not just rhetoric but resources, we really can reduce poverty.”
An article written for The New York Times by Sam Roberts, mentions Mayor Bloomberg's plan to reduce poverty as a goal for his second term. It also states that New York was the only state where both the median income and poverty rates surpassed the national average, indicating that the gap between the wealthy and the poor might be increasing.
Income increases listed in the census report released on August 29th, seem not to be wage increases, as reported in an editorial of The New York Times. The gains came most likely from investment income and social security, since wages and salaries declined.
Richard Parsons, Co-chairman of Mayor Bloomberg's anti-poverty commission and CEO of Time Warner, got a taste of what his life will be like on the board of the commission, according to Jill Gardiner, staff reporter of The New York Sun. After the release of the census report on August 29th, a group of citizens demanded that he and the commission be aggressive in its plan to reduce poverty in New York.
Poverty among seniors increased however, as WNBC reported on its website.
Of all of the five boroughs, Bronx is statistically the least wealthy, according to federal government poverty rates, with over 29 percent of people living in poverty. Although the overall poverty rate for New York did not increase, the Bronx still remains one of the nations poorest counties, according to Cindy Rodriguez at WNYC, New York Public Radio.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
I've got a better idea: what if top executives of the company took pay cuts instead of implementing massive lay-offs?
The idea of personal responsibility should be universal in society -- applying to welfare recipients, middle class families, and corporate leaders alike. -- Joel
Try Dumpster-diving, airline tells workers
By MSN Money staff and wire reports
Northwest Airlines, which has slashed wages and jobs and is looking to lay off more workers as it exits bankruptcy, has apologized for distributing a booklet of money-savings tips for workers that includes advice that they go dumpster-diving.
The fifth-largest U.S. carrier put the tips in a booklet handed out to about 50 workers and posted for a time on its employee Web site. The booklet was part of a 150-page packet to ground workers, such as baggage handlers, whose jobs will likely be cut after their union agreed to allow the airline to outsource some of their work.
Prepared with the help of an outside company, the booklet encourages employees to manage their money better and prepare for financial emergencies. In one section, called "Preparing for a Financial Setback," Northwest suggests that workers can take "a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods." It also says they should not be "shy about pulling something you like out of the trash."
Also among the tips: No. 48: Move to a less expensive place to live; and No. 59: Never grocery shop hungry.
'A bit insensitive'
Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski says some employees were offended by the suggestions.
He tells Reuters, "We agree that some of these suggestions and tips ... were a bit insensitive." The airline said the list was inadvertently published in the resource guide without being reviewed by Northwest management. The airline has removed the list from the booklet and its employee Web site, the Detroit Free Press said.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director Joel Berg joined Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum in publicizing a new report criticizing the City for continued mismanagement of the toll-free Hunger Hotline last week. “If you can’t find food, you can’t eat,” Berg told the press. Read the release and full report here.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
"Revised guidelines for what can be counted to meet work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the federal government’s main welfare support mechanism for families with children, reduce state flexibility and may increase the number of families in need of emergency food. The new regulations were issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services in the June 28, 2006 Federal Register.
"Welfare analysts found the new rules to be unduly restrictive....
"'In the late 1990s, in a better economy with more spending on child care and other work supports, states had a hard time reaching even the lower work standards,' Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, told Foodlinks America. 'Now, with fewer jobs available and less money for work supports, states will have no choice but to throw more people off the rolls – whether or not they have jobs,' Berg noted. 'The new rules will likely increase poverty, homelessness, and hunger – the absolute opposite of their stated goal of helping people achieve self-sufficiency,' he said."
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Former Senator and current “got breakfast?” spokesperson George McGovern (D-S.D.) joined City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and schoolchildren at P.S. 93 on National Hunger Awareness Day, June 6, to call attention to free school breakfast programs. School breakfasts are inadequately used, and at a time of problematic citywide hunger, both the “got breakfast?” campaign and Quinn view increasing participation as a significant goal. Quinn called on her fellow council members to join her in eating with children that day, and 27 heeded her request.
Friday, June 02, 2006
NYCCAH file photo: Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
It was all burgers and baked beans at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, as volunteers tried to infuse regular meal service with a festive, all-American atmosphere. Father Bill Greenlaw, rector and executive director of the meal program, said many veterans are among the clientele.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to include $300 million in funding for existing programs in his proposed city budget. Many in the New York City nonprofit community expressed disappointment at Bloomberg’s readiness to engage in the annual “budget dance,” a term used by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to describe the political maneuvering surrounding allocations. Said Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director Joel Berg, “Not only did the mayor fail to include funding for any of the anti-hunger initiatives proposed by Speaker Quinn, he actually called for [a] $670,000 cut in the Emergency Food Assistance Program.... We applaud Speaker Quinn and the Council for realizing that with millions of lives at stake, the budget process should not be a 'dance' but rather a serious process of meeting city needs."
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
She was born in Manhattan, grew up in the Bronx, and attended the Chapin School in Manhattan before proceeding to Yale University for her undergraduate and law school education. She then taught law at Florida State University, clerked for a federal judge in California, helped draft the Eritrean constitution from 1995 to 1997, and served on the faculty at New York Law School from 1995 on.
Whether she was fighting to ensure equality in school funding or supporting the Coalition's work against hunger, Denise exemplified the country's best traditions in the continuing struggle for social justice.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
A day after The New York Times reported New York City would permit unemployed, able-bodied adults without children to receive food stamps for over three months in any three-year period, Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed course. This time limit can be waived by cities with high unemployment rates, like Chicago, Washington, and New York. Of eligible cities, New York is one of only a handful not to exercise the waiver.
The mayor’s apparent flip-flop comes after Human Resources Administration Commissioner Verna Eggleston sent a request to the state for the waiver. Despite a proclaimed effort to fight poverty in his second term, dislike of public assistance programs may have been at the heart of the mayor’s decision. The far right hailed the mayor’s ultimate decision, while anti-poverty advocates were stunned and concerned.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Tech Soup, a technology website for nonprofit organizations, has published a feature story on the New York City Coalition Against Hunger's mapping operations. The interactive maps, which use Google Maps as a framework, show the location of emergency food programs in the five boroughs of New York City.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
One in five New York City children live in food insecure households, according to New York City Coalition Against Hunger data reported in Spanish-language Hoy. Over 400,000 children in the city live in households where at least one member is going hungry or faces insufficient access to sufficient, nutritious food. And in a Feb. 19 column for the Daily News, Albor Ruiz called on city leaders to gain the political will to put an end to hunger in the country's richest city.
Said Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger: "When every fifth child in New York City lives in a home that doesn't have enough food, it is clear that New York City is facing a hunger crisis. You could fill Yankee Stadium more than seven times with these children. Such numbers should be a wakeup call for government leaders, business executives and average residents alike."
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Even as officials justifiably decry the low wages of police officers, over 1 million other New Yorkers--the majority of whom work long hours like these officers--receive food stamps. An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 New Yorkers qualify due to low wages but do not receive food stamps, often deterred by the difficulty of wrangling with bureaucratic red tape. (Photo courtesy tia.org.)
Friday, February 10, 2006
The City Council approved a mall to replace the Bronx Terminal Market at Hunts Point, but not before ensuring that any stores accept food stamps and other food subsidies like those of the Women, Infants and Children program. BJ’s, a wholesale food club almost certain to be a flagship tenant, does not generally accept food stamps but will at the Hunts Point mall. Councilman Hiram Monserrate was among those who pushed for food stamps and WIC, and the guarantee of those programs struck many observers as decent and sensible.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
What if, before your next meal, you first had to fill out paperwork and then wait hours in a crowded office to be interviewed and fingerprinted? That is not a hypothetical situation for many of New York's working poor--hundreds of thousands of whom are eligible for food stamps but do not get them because of unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles.
Recent studies by the Urban Justice Center and others document how difficult and degrading it can be for the hungry to get help. Despite improvements, like the state-mandated reduction in paperwork, the city still must regain ground lost under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who built a wall of red tape to express his distaste for the program.
For many of the working poor, food stamps are a necessity, often the difference between having to decide whether to pay the rent or eat. According to various estimates, New York has effectively turned its back on more than $700 million in federal funds that it would receive if every eligible New Yorker enrolled in the food stamp program. That money would be spent in grocery stores and bodegas, boosting the local economy.
The City Council, led by Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn and Eric Gioia of Queens, has been prodding the Human Resources Administration to accept applications by fax and to allow people to apply online and at food pantries and soup kitchens. The Bloomberg administration should embrace these ideas.
One hopeful sign is Mayor Michael Bloomberg's s appointment of Linda Gibbs to be deputy mayor for human resources. Ms. Gibbs helped shape the city's program for the homeless. It is the city's hungry who now require her attention. She could start by instructing workers to stop fingerprinting every applicant. New York is one of a few states that requires this costly and obstructive process. Hunger is indignity enough.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
"Often people buy less nutritious, more fattening food and get fat because it's cheaper to do so," Executive Director Joel Berg said. "People will travel ridiculously long distances to go to farmers' markets, travel long distances to go to supermarkets."
Monday, January 09, 2006
No more hunger in New York. No city resident should have to agonize any longer over where his family's next meal will come from. I wish this year for the mayor to overcome his lack of interest and to take effective measures to put an end to this shame of the city. Inexcusably, despite its wealth, one in seven city York residents face going hungry or lack sufficient access to food. As any of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer can tell you, hunger does not wait.
And on Queens City Council members' respective lists of goals for 2006, Eric Gioia mentioned feeding hungry people and enabling food stamps access.