Friday, April 04, 2008

Executive Director Berg Urges Council’s Commitment to Anti-Hunger Initiatives

In his testimony before the New York State Council on Food Policy on April 3, Coalition Executive Director Joel Berg enumerated the Council’s responsibilities to the goal of alleviating hunger in New York City: a goal which has been impeded by current policies, dysfunctional food systems and barriers to the Food Stamp program. Berg urged the Council to end finger imaging for Food Stamp applicants, while concurrently expediting Food Stamp determinations and allowing applicants to apply online and by phone. “In just the city alone, failures in government policies are keeping food stamp benefits away from hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers, depriving them of literally hundreds of millions of dollars in federal entitlement spending that could be going to feed their families. Much of that money could have also gone to the state’s small farmers and food processors,” he said. Berg further exhorted the Council to provide for universal, in-classroom school breakfasts, which would effectively combat childhood hunger while increasing academic performance among city children. These initiatives are dependent upon healthy food systems and federal policies, which go hand-in-hand to sustain nutrition education, farmer’s markets and food-related small businesses. Berg identified the Food Policy Council as a fundamental link between community projects and federal funding, whose action will be of great importance to the futures of the 1.3 million New Yorkers currently forced to rely on emergency food programs.

1 comment:

Hungry child said...

great! thanks for sharing!