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2016 Election

Defending and Strengthening SNAP: Leveraging Evidence to Improve Public Health

Defending and Strengthening SNAP: Leveraging Evidence to Improve Public Health

By  Craig Willingham,  Deputy Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

 

43 million Americans utilize SNAP benefits and about 1.7 Million of them live in New York City. In Fiscal Year 2015, the federal government spent about $75 billion on SNAP. The impact of this program is both large in the number of people it reaches and in its purchasing power. A recent USDA study looked at the foods typically purchased by SNAP households. It found many similarities between the diets of SNAP and non-SNAP recipients but in some categories SNAP recipients spent a higher portion of their food dollars on unhealthy food than did non-SNAP recipients.  As we move into the Trump era we as advocates need to be careful about what we take away from studies like this and how we can use them to our advantage.

Republican Controlled Congress Likely to Put Hunger Back on the Table

Republican Controlled Congress Likely to Put Hunger Back on the Table

by Maggie Dickinson, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Guttman Community College, CUNY

The recent election poses a grave threat to federal nutrition programs and the millions of low income families they serve. This January, Republicans will control the presidency and both houses of Congress. Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has been pushing to block grant SNAP (formerly food stamps) for several years. Ryan’s proposed changes have the potential to undo much of the progress we have made in addressing hunger in the United States since the 1970’s.

Food Justice in the Trump Age: Priorities for NYC Advocates

Food Justice in the Trump Age: Priorities for NYC Advocates

By Nevin Cohen, Nicholas Freudenberg and Janet Poppendieck, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

Trump’s inauguration, coupled with Republican Congressional control, requires every constituency to analyze the threats to the gains of the last eight years. This is particularly urgent for New Yorkers seeking to advance three broad food goals: eliminating food insecurity and hunger, fighting malnutrition and health inequality, and ensuring a sustainable food system with good jobs. Anticipating efforts to undermine food justice enables advocates, researchers, and policy makers to choose priorities in our work and forge strategic partnerships. In this policy brief, Nevin Cohen, Nicholas Freudenberg and Janet Poppendieck from the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute analyze likely changes in these three areas and propose strategies to promote food justice in the coming years

Message on the Presidential Election

Message on the Presidential Election

Dear Readers:

It will take us all some time to analyze the full implications of the outcome of the election and to understand the effects on food justice and health equity. As founders of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute at the CUNY School of Public Health, as public health researchers and advocates, and as individuals dedicated to social justice, we wanted to reaffirm the core commitments and values that inform our work. 

CUNY Urban Food Policy Forum on Food and the 2016 Election

 CUNY Urban Food Policy Forum on Food and the 2016 Election

Most observers of the 2016 election would agree that to date food and food policy has not been a front burner issue.  But are there other top tier election issues that could provide an opening for food advocates—climate change and energy policy, trade policy, income inequality and minimum wage, the role of government in safety net programs?  Can food activists use the distrust of corporations by many of Bernie Sanders supporters and some of Donald Trump’s followers to focus on the role of Big Food in health and hunger?  Can the threats to democracy that “dark money”, campaign contributions and PACs pose enlist food and other activists to join the fight for campaign finance reform?  On June 7, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute sponsored a forum on Food and the 2016 Election to consider these and other questions.