NYC Food Policy Center May 2023 Food Flash

by Emily Solomon

A roundup of food policy topics

What’s Hot: NYC Families to Receive $391 per child for Pandemic Food Benefits

This summer, families in NYC will receive $391 per child in Pandemic Food Benefits from the Federal Covid-19 Relief Program. This is a continuation of the program that was implemented last summer to assist households who are eligible for free school lunch. 

Families may use their P-EBT card to pay for the following grocery items:

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dairy products;
  • Breads and cereals;
  • Other foods, such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Distribution of benefits will be completed by September 30th, 2023. The benefits will expire 274 days after disbursement.

Food Policy Watchdog: Starbucks Employees Move to Decertify the Starbucks Workers United Union

After just one year of its establishment, 3 different Starbucks locations have petitioned to remove the Starbucks Workers United Union. The petition did not give any reason for employees wanting to decertify the union.

According to an article published online in The City, “Petitions to decertify can be filed no sooner than one year after a union’s certification, and at least 30% of workers must sign in support of the move.” It is unclear whether the petition will receive enough signatures to remove the Union. 

The decertification is supported by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an organization that helps groups opt out of unionizing. 

Quote of the Month: “Our mission here is to think about food systems through the lens of waste and food and try to make them more sustainable, equitable and resilience. Trying to change from a linear view of the food supply chain to one that is more circular to try to transform those regional systems into something where we can extend the life of the food and, frankly, at the end, need to grow less food so that we can sustain our planet for a longer period of time,” – Dr. Brian E. Roe, one of the panel speakers at the Waste Expo

Waste Expo is North America’s largest solid waste recycling, organics, and sustainability trade show. 

Fact Check: Half of New Yorkers Do Not Make the Minimum Needed to Live Here

In its most recent report, the Center of Women’s Welfare found that half of all New York City’s working-age households cannot afford to live here. Based on the NYC True Cost of Living standard, households must make at least $100,000 to afford the cost of living. To see the household composition breakdown, see page 17 of the “Overlooked and Undercounted” Report. 

Currently, New York City is experiencing a worsening affordability crisis that results from recent job losses and layoffs, skyrocketing housing costs, and inflation. 

Insider reports that the crisis is affecting marginalized communities  the hardest. It states that, “Sixty-five percent of Latino, 58% of Black, and 64% of non-citizen households had inadequate incomes.”

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