Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Holiday Gift to the Hungry: Another dip in Food Stamps participation, and (not coincidentally) City timeliness rates

NYCCAH today released the latest analysis of City food stamp participation numbers. Participation dropped in October 2006 by 5,039 people, and is now at the lowest level since October 2005. In addition, year-to-date data as of September 2006 indicates that the citywide food stamps timeliness rate at job centers has gotten even worse, with the City now missing the federal 30 day deadline in 19.1% – nearly one in five – of all cases.

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

Bloomberg, Quinn announce creation of new office of Food and Nutrition

Today, City Council Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg jointly announced the creation of a new Office of Food and Nutrition meant to coordinate policy in the City's response to hunger and malnutrition. The pair also announced a parallel expansion of an existing program to assist bodegas in selling healthier food in low-income communities where nutritious, affordable food is rare. Coverage in the New York Times and the New York Post included NYCCAH's enthusiastic support of these measures.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Data: Hunger Still Skyrocketing in NYC

Today the Coalition Against Hunger released its newest annual survey of hunger in NYC, demonstrating that despite the soaring stock market and other positive economic indicators, the number of NYC residents forced to feed their families at soup kitchens and food pantries continues to grow. See the press release and full report.

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

HRA Commissioner admits to a rise in hunger - even among her own staff

In a hearing given today before the New York City Council, HRA Commissioner Verna Eggleston testified that she is seeing an increase in need for food stamps at her agency, even among her own employees. Read NYCCAH's testimony from this hearing here.

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

New Hunger Numbers Set For Release Tuesday

The Coalition will be releasing the results of its 2006 survey of NYC's soup kitchens and food pantries Tuesday 11/21 and Wednesday 11/22 in media events across the five boroughs. The flagship event in the Bronx Tuesday morning will feature speakers including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, Assembly Members Benjamin and Rivera, and City Council members Addabo and Brewer. See more details here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Groundbreaking Mapping Study reveals link between obesity and hunger and lack of Fresh Produce in low-income neighborhoods

In a press release the New York City Coalition Against Hunger announced it has completed a pioneering new study using cutting-edge computer mapping technology to show how low-income neighborhoods in the city lack access to nutritious food in supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and other sources of fresh produce. It demonstrates that, in low-income neighborhoods, fresh produce and nutritious food are harder to access than fattening junk food. The study includes an interactive map of all food sources in New York City from restaurants to retail sites, and raw data for public use. The study was subsequently covered by the NY Daily News, WOR Channel 9 News, the Queens Tribune, Bronx 12 News, and the Gotham Gazette.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pantries should receive additional funding

In an article appearing in the New York Daily News, Lisa Colangelo reports on the testimony given by Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, regarding the trans fat ban. "We support the ban, but people need to understand this will mean less food in the food pantry," said Berg. Berg also told the Board of Health that any plan to ban food with trans fats, means the city should provide extra money for pantries and soup kitchens to buy trans fat-free foods.