NYC Food Policy Center June 2023 Food Flash

by Emily Solomon

A roundup of food policy topics

What’s Hot: Canadian Wildfires Impact Air Quality Across the East Coast 

This past June, Canadian Wildfires roared across every Canadian province except for Prince Edward Island and Nunavit. The fires are ongoing, and caused by  increased heat and rainfall patterns exacerbated by climate change. 

Earlier in the month, New York City experienced hazy orange skies and unhealthy air  created by the spread of smoke carried on the wind that caused authorities to advise t residents to stay indoors and wear masks if they went outside.

The smoke has left the New York area, but U.S Weather Specialists explain that it will likely cause increased precipitation throughout the early summer. 

Food Policy Watchdog: $8.5 Million Dollar Grant to Fund Local Food Purchasing in Schools Has Been Approved

This month Mayor Eric Adams approved an 8.5 Million Dollar grant that will fund local food purchasing in schools throughout New York. The funds will go to the DOE Office of Food and Nutrition Services, which, in partnership with NYC DOE Division of Contracts & Purchasing, the Cornell Cooperative Extension/Harvest NY, and the Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture, will be responsible for sourcing  locally grown foods from local producers, small businesses, and historically disadvantaged farmers and producers.

Quote of the Month: “This is a big win-win for our students and local farmers/producers, helping to ensure that the food we serve in schools is healthy, and locally sourced and grown,” said Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture Executive Director Qiana Mickie

Fact Check: Double Check the Sales Tax added at Your Next Grocery Check Out, You May Be Paying More Than Necessary!

This month, Whole Foods in New York City has been charged with a $5 Million Class Action Lawsuit for overcharging customers for their  ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, and ready-to-cook meals. 

According to New York State Law, “if a food is prepared, packaged, and refrigerated by the store but not arranged on a plate or in a “ready-to-eat” format, it is also non-taxable.” This is not the first time the store has been caught abusing tax laws. 

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