The COVID-19 pandemic has “spotlighted a deeply inequitable food system — where middle-class and wealthy New Yorkers have consistent access to healthy affordable food while low-income, Black and Brown and immigrant households do not,” argues an opinion piece recently published in the New York Daily News by Pamela Koch, Executive Director of TC’s Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy and Associate Research Professor; Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor and Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute; and Charles Platkin, Distinguished Lecturer and Executive Director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center.
The trio preview “NY Food 20/20: Food Systems During COVID-19 and Beyond,” the first independent assessment of the city’s response to the pandemic food emergency, which will soon be released at nyfood2020.org. They note that during the pandemic, “Most New Yorkers still had food” and half reported that they were eating healthier. But they urge addressing persistent food problems by:
- Expanding economic stimulus support, especially to small food businesses owned by women, people of color and immigrants;
- Promoting enrollment in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- Providing healthier food for emergency and institutional food programs;
- Expanding public benefits and improving conditions for low-wage food workers.
Koch and co-authors spotlight “a deeply inequitable food system — where middle-class and wealthy New Yorkers have consistent access to healthy affordable food while low-income, Black and Brown and immigrant households do not.”
“As the next wave of the pandemic looms,” they write, “we could make a lasting commitment to the city by using the lessons from COVID-19 to dismantle the food apartheid which leaves so many New Yorkers without access to food.”
Read the full opinion piece by Koch, Freudenberg and Platkin.