Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A New Campaign for Food Aid

City Limits has published an article summarizing all the positive new developments in NYC over the past few months focused on getting more eligible New Yorkers the food stamps they need. Programs profiled in the article include NYCCAH's groundbreaking effort with FoodChange and HRA to allow food stamps applications to be submitted electronically from local soup kitchens and food pantries.

Friday, February 16, 2007

State of the City

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn delivered the State of the City address yesterday. Among other proposals, Quinn called for a renters tax break that would provide a $300 credit for working families and for a law to ensure apartments are maintained in "livable" conditions.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mayor's Preliminary FY 2007 Management Report Released

Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg released his Preliminary Management Report for the Fiscal Year 2007. The report places the "updated goal" for food stamp participation in fiscal year 2007 at 1, 171,100 - the same number predicted for fiscal year 2006 and also for the future fiscal year, 2008. The report did state that the Human Resources Administration "is experimenting with community partners to complete and submit Food Stamp applications electronically. HRA will expand the hours of operation at certain offices to evaluate the demand for additional evening hours, and has developed a new brochure on food stamps. HRA is also taking steps to simplify the recertification process and increase the use of automation for processing applications."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interview With New HRA Commissioner

The newly-appointed HRA commissioner, Robert Doar, is interviewed in this week's City Limits publication. In the interview, Doar states that his number one priority is enabling people to obtain better access to "publicly funded programs that can help low-income workers move up and have greater resources and feel as if they are making it." In response to a question about possible food stamp moves, Doar talks positively about his project with FoodChange to increase access outside of offices, but also remarks on the limits to the program due to income standards and federal rules.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NYCCAH's Petra Bebas Interviewed

NYCCAH Volunteer Management VISTA, Petra Bebas, was featured in an interview in The Epoch Times. The article honors Petra for her dedication to volunteering and for her efforts in the fight against hunger.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Doar Appointed HRA Commissioner

Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Robert Doar as Administrator and Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration and Department of Social Services (HRA/DDS). The New York Nonprofit Press reported today that local social service providers greeted the appointment positively, though with some reservations. NYCCAH Executive Director Joel Berg was quoted as saying, "Anti-hunger advocates are particularly thankful that, in his tenure with the State, Commissioner Doar helped increase statewide access to the Food Stamp Program, reinforcing the vital message that food stamp benefits provide work support that enable people to move towards economic independence."

City Health - Better or Not?

The New York City government recently released the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, which showed an almost five month increase in the life expectancy of New Yorkers. Although it seems that city health has improved on a whole, the Community Health Profiles, which compare specific communities to the boroughs and to the overall city, show that neighborhoods with low income and lack of resources still face large health challenges and have the highest rates of preventable illnesses. Smoking may be down citywide, but presently 20 percent – one fifth - of all New Yorkers are obese. In neighborhoods in East Harlem and East New York, about three in 10 adults, or 30 percent, are obese. Obesity is linked to other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes – currently one in eight New Yorkers has diabetes.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Governor's Budget Draws Praise

NYCCAH wasn't the only organization heralding the human services budget released by Governor Spitzer on Wednesday. According to the New York Nonprofit Press, advocates from across the state are praising the modest increases to programs benefiting low-income families put forward by the new administration.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Queens Councilman Wants to Cut Red Tape

City Councilman Eric Gioia is on a quest to get Queens residents the food stamps and school breakfasts they need. The Queens Gazette reports that Gioia has put under-participation in these federal programs on the radar of local community boards, and wants to push for further innovations in outreach and application procedures. Said Gioia, "If you apply online, you don't have to wait in line."