One thought on “What Trump Means for Hunger and Nutrition in New York City

  1. Food insecurity and hunger affect almost 20 percent of New York City’s population – none more vulnerable than the thousands of frail, homebound elderly who rely on federally-funded food assistance programs, in addition to home-delivered meals as their only sources of sustenance.

    For more than 35 years, Citymeals on Wheels, a private nonprofit organization, has worked in partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA), community-based organizations and senior centers, to fund the preparation and delivery of more than 54 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for frail aged New Yorkers.

    More than 60 percent of our meals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90;
    more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Citymeals recipients are also isolated: 57 percent live alone; 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes; 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk. Many are also at risk for malnutrition.

    Turning our backs on these New Yorkers – whose sweat and hard work made our city great – by cutting funding for their meal programs is shortsighted, at best, and potentially deadly, at worst.

    Shortsighted because Citymeals actually generates revenue for New York City through the federal government’s cash in lieu of commodities program which reimburses DFTA approximately 67 cents for every meal underwritten by Citymeals. All of this money goes directly toward the City-funded weekday meals program, bringing in nearly $1.5 million and an additional 180,000 home delivered meals for those who needed it in FY 17.

    Home delivered meal programs also allow these proud New Yorkers to remain in their own homes, where they can age with dignity. Cutting funding for these life-saving meal programs, including SNAP, will not only endanger their lives, but add to the taxpayers’ burden in Medicaid costs for emergency room visits, hospitalizations and long-term care.

    When making key food-policy appointments and in determining funding levels for federal food programs, the Trump administration should think hard. Do they pay now, or pay later?

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