NYC Food Policy Center December 2023 Food Flash

by Emily Solomon

A roundup of food policy topics

What’s Hot: Mayor Eric Adams’s budget cuts dramatically affect NYC Parks

In an effort to “close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit driven by the expiration of pandemic aid as well as migrant spending,”.Mayor Eric Adams has proposed to the NYC Parks Department budget cuts that would dramatically affect staffing. The Department is expected to lay off more than 1,400 employees, and  Gothamist reports that, as a result, some NYC parks will be cleaned only once a week. 

While there is resistance to delay this decision, it is unclear whether the Mayor’s office will reconsider their proposal. 

Food Policy Watchdog: Farm Bill Extension Covers Agriculture Risk, Price Loss, and More

The USDA announced this month that they will be extending the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2024. The deadline for farmers to enroll for the 2024 crop yearis March 15, 2024.

These programs provide financial protections for farmers against the volatility of the market. Some of the covered commodities include barley, canola (aka rapeseed), large and small chickpeas, corn, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, long grain rice, medium grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 

In 2022, the FSA issued $267 million in payments to farmers who were protected by these programs.  

Quote of the Month:

“There’s no secret who this is going to have the most impact on. It’s people who don’t have resources, who rely on parks as a place to take their families.” – Adam Ganser, executive director of the nonprofit group New Yorkers for Parks, on Mayor Adams budget cuts. 

Fact Check: Meat & Dairy firms increase number of representatives to this year’s climate summit

The United Nations Climate Change Conference was held earlier this month. The Guardian reported that meat and dairy companies sent 120 delegates, which is three times as many as last year. 

Ben Lilliston, director of rural strategies and climate change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, speculates that based on increased “scrutiny over emissions from meat and dairy companies, it is not surprising they are stepping up their game to head off anyConference of the Parties outcome that might hinder their operations. Even so, a tripling of delegates is alarming – it drives home the urgent need for reforms that limit corporate influence at UN climate meetings.”

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