New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Gotham Gazette Adams, Kallos Introduce Bill to Mandate Nutrition Standards for Food Provided by the City by Katie Kirker

Adams, Kallos Introduce Bill to Mandate Nutrition Standards for Food Provided by the City

“We are dealing with low-income communities that are already facing this epidemic where we are seeing higher numbers,” Kallos said. “We're seeing an increase of diabetes amongst our black and brown population, particularly New Yorkers who are black are seeing more diabetes than most other populations. And when we're literally handing them candy, that's not something that's going to help. Additionally, I'm a person of the Jewish faith and we're seeing seniors, Holocaust survivors, who are trying to get access to healthy food and they're being provided non-Kosher meals that they literally have to choose between their religion, where they were able to keep Kosher during World War II and the Holocaust, and trying to survive this pandemic. And that's just not a choice anyone should have to make.”

Adams said he was set to meet with de Blasio’s emergency food team on Friday to discuss nutrition, which is largely absent from the Feeding New York plan that the city released. There are no specifics about nutrition in the plan beyond saying the city will “provid[e] meals that not only are nutritious, but are also culturally and ethnically appropriate.” Kallos said that nutrition is on the radar of de Blasio’s “food czar,” Kathryn Garcia, but said he and Adams are pushing the new legislation because no action has been taken so far to remedy the problem.

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