AS CONCERNS FROM NYC RESIDENTS MOUNT ABOUT NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF FOOD BEING DISTRIBUTED BY CITY, BP ADAMS, CM KALLOS, DOCTORS OF COLOR ANNOUNCE NEW LEGISLATION STRENGTHENING NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR MEALS SERVED TO MOST VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS
May 20, 2020
Brooklyn, NY – Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined City Council Member Ben Kallos and doctors of color to unveil new legislation that would strengthen nutritional guidelines on meals funded by the City, including grab-and-gomeals. The announcement came as New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs have expressed concern about the quality and nutritional standards of the food distributed through the GetFoodNYC initiative, launched in response to the growing number of New Yorkers who have lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Borough President Adams and Council Member Kallos have been vocal in recent weeks about the need to provide healthier meal options to New Yorkers.
“Our City cannot be literally feeding our public health crisis by serving foods that have no nutritional value. Numerous residents throughout Brooklyn have raised concerns to me about the quality of the food they are getting through grab-and-go sites, food pantries, and other operations subsidized by the City. The leading co-morbidities associated with COVID-19 are diet-related, like obesity and hypertension. We must change the paradigm in the way we feed residents to prioritize health and wellness, rather than just caloric intake,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“COVID-19 is no excuse to feed our most vulnerable New Yorkers junk food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” said Council Member Kallos. “Nutritional value must be a priority when our City acquires food to give to hungry residents. This legislation works to improve the quality of the food the City will give out going forward. Thank you to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for calling attention to this issue citywide and working with me to fix it.”
“Food is our daily medicine. It is not just about the caloric intake of our foods — it is about the nutrients found in food that support the body’s ability to balance blood sugars or heal itself,” said Daemon Jones, MD.
“Food is of utmost importance in the prevention and management of chronic disease. When we choose to eat whole plant foods, we can optimize our immune systems so that we are better prepared to fight infections,” said Yami Cazorla-Lancaster, DO, MPH, MS, FAAP, DipABLM.
“We have seen in study after study that those most disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are those in the Black and Brown communities, both in which we are seeing high instances of chronic, widely preventable, nutritionally-related diseases, including: obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. We know that foods is not just calories — the nutrients with which we provide our bodies can determine systemic health. At a time when we are seeing in recent data that low Vitamin D is a commonality amongst those testing positive for COVID-19 and many are unable to venture out to acquire proper vitamin D from the sun, it is crucial to put focus on hyper-nourishing the body with the wide array of nutrients in whole, unprocessed plant foods,” said Dahlia Marin, RDN.
The full recording of the virtual press conference is available here.