City Council Member Ben Kallos: A Food Difference

by Justin Taylor
Part of the ongoing Politicians Making a Food Difference series

The Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center is excited to recognize the politicians who are working to make NYC a model for smart, fair food policy. This week we honor the work of City Council Member Ben Kallos.

Name: Ben Kallos [D-NY]

Political title: New York City Council Member, District 5; Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operation, which has jurisdiction over municipal governmental structure and organization.

Hometown: Upper East Side Manhattan, New York

Educational Bio: Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School, Bronx High School of Science, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo School of Law

What he cares  about: Education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development, transportation and safety and women’s issues

What he’s done: Authored the School Food Accountability Bill which aims to help School Food programs reach their potential by requiring annual reporting from the Department of Education to the City Council and the general public on the average daily number of meals served for breakfast both before and after the bell, the average daily number of meals served for lunch, the average daily number of meals served for school snacks and supper and steps taken by DOE to increase participation in these programs through special initiatives and new proposals.

Introduced Healthy Happy Meals bill, which attempts to stop the practice of incentivizing unhealthy eating among children by tying the toys and other incentives to meals meeting higher nutritional standards.

Introduced a resolution calling for a statewide and national ban on the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock production.

Holds food demonstrations called “Cooking with Kallos” at farmers’ markets throughout the district.

Recent food-related policies he’s supported: Lunch 4 Learning, a grassroots coalition of more than 170 organizations and political leaders working to make free and healthy lunches available to all public school students in the city, regardless of income; Fresh Food Boxes, which provides New Yorkers a pre-packed box of assorted fresh, locally-grown produce for just $10 per week, much like a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program but on a weekly basis rather than an entire season; making cooking and nutrition education available to residents at various community centers throughout the city;  various hunger and food assistance programs throughout the city.

Official website:

City Council website:

School Food Accountability Bill:

Healthy Happy Meals bill:

Ban on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics:

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