Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new anti-poverty pilot program that will award poor families up to $5,000 a year for taking such steps as visiting the dentist, attending parent-teacher conferences, or having a child with perfect school attendance. The program will track the progress of the 2,500 randomly selected families against 2,500 other randomly selected families not receiving rewards.
Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, had this to say about the program, "It's certainly good to experiment with new efforts such as this. However, it is important to keep in mind that the 2,500 people to be impacted represent less than two-tenths of one percent of the 1.7 million New Yorkers in poverty. We also need far bolder efforts to create large numbers of living wage jobs and make food, health care, housing, and child care, more affordable for low-income New Yorkers."