On September 22, 2018 the Trump Administration proposed changes in the "public charge" rules that would expand the discretion of the Office of Homeland Security to deny applications for green cards or certain types of visas. This decision would be based on an immigrant’s age, family size, income, and assets, as well as based on whether they have utilized certain cash or non-cash public benefits or programs they are legally entitled to use, including use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Such a change could make life more difficult for New Yorkers who depend on and are eligible for many of our nation's public benefit programs. As Food Policy Monitor reported in its previous issue and discussed at the October Food Policy Forum, the proposed rule change could reverse recent progress in reducing food insecurity in New York City.
In the November 6 midterm election, voters in Washington and Oregon voted on ballot initiatives on soda taxes. In the state of Washington, voters approved a measure that bans any new taxes on food and beverages. In Oregon, voters rejected a similar ban. An examination of these two experiences provides insights that may guide public health advocates in other states who believe that soda taxes are an important way to reduce diet-related premature deaths and preventable illnesses.
In this interview, Nicholas Freudenberg, Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute asks Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, emerita, at New York University, and Visiting Professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell, about her new book Unsavory Truth, published by Basic Books in October 2018.
Picture being asked to choose between feeding your family now or obtaining a green card later!
A new “public charge” rule proposed by the Trump administration has the potential to induce legal immigrants to forgo public benefits that they need to feed their families, secure housing and maintain their health. The result would be a rise in hunger and malnutrition, an increase in homelessness, and a decline in health, as well as a reduction in federal funds injected into the economies of New York City and jurisdictions throughout the nation.
Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Settlement Houses (SHs) strive to create strong, healthy communities that make it easier for their residents to find healthy affordable food and good jobs. To advance work on achieving these two goals, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York City (LISC NYC), United Neighborhood Houses (UNH), and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) partnered to identify promising models for integrating workforce development and healthy food access. The goal of such integration is to expand the capacity of these organizations to grow and nurture new approaches to creating more good food jobs, approaches that have the potential for being developed, expanded and sustained in low-income neighborhoods across New York City. While our focus in this report is on New York City, we believe that the models and strategies described here are also relevant to other cities in the United States.
In late September, members of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute had the opportunity to share current best practices and learn from others who play an active role in creating platforms that support students’ basic needs on college campuses across the United States at the #RealCollege Conference. The two-day conference connected professors, students, campus staff members, non-profit organizations , campus food pantry directors and others to work on alleviating hunger and homelessness among the college student population. Over 500 attendees were hosted at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and were welcomed to the new The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.
Seven years ago, the first United Nations High Level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs -- the public health term for chronic diseases) met to discuss the growing health, social and economic burdens NCDs were imposing on high, middle- and low-income countries around the world. A World Health Organization report prepared for the UN meeting concluded that four risk factors -- tobacco use, unhealthy diets, alcohol use and physical inactivity accounted for the vast majority of the rising prevalence of premature deaths and preventable illnesses from conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension and some forms of cancer. Later, the UN and WHO set the goal of reducing premature deaths -- those before age 70 -- by 25% by 2025, a goal that has proved elusive. Here in the United States and New York City and around the world, NCDs are a leading cause of persistent inequities in health between the better off and the poor and in the US between Blacks and other people of color and whites.
In August 2018, delegates from the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute attended the fourth World Cities World Class University Network (WC2) Symposium on the topic of “Migration, the City, and the University” at Ryerson University in Toronto. The WC2 Network, of which CUNY is a member, brings together ten leading universities based in global cities around the world – from New York City to Mexico City, Sao Paolo, London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, and Toronto – with the shared goal of crafting joint solutions to some of the world’s most urgent and complex urban challenges.