Breakfast in the Classroom in NYC
Eight years ago, Hunger Free New York City (formerly the New York City Coalition Against Hunger) launched a major campaign to get the City to ensure that all its students obtain the nutritious school breakfasts they need in order to learn, play, and grow up healthy and happy. We led a press conference on the steps of City Hall on a blistering August afternoon, pointing out that out of urban school districts across the country, New York City was consistently last or second-to-last in terms of providing school breakfast.
It was an uphill battle. The then-mayor was against it. The Department of Education’s bureaucracy was opposed.
Hunger Free New York City took on this fight – and stayed at it for years. We organized low-income parents to speak out on behalf of their kids. We generated media attention. We produced policy reports detailing concrete, practical steps the City could take to expand breakfast. We engaged elected officials. We teamed up with partner organizations and progressive unions. And we enlisted the public’s help.
To continue reading our full NYC School Breakfast Story, click here: http://www.hungerfreeamerica.org/school-breakfast-nyc
Increase in the Gross Income Test for New York State SNAP Recipients
This year, Governor Andrew Cuomo took administrative action to increase the gross income test for federal SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits from 130% of the poverty line to 150% of the line. This was recommended by the Governor’s Anti-Hunger Task Force, on which our CEO Joel Berg served.
Before this change, a three-person family couldn’t obtain SNAP benefits if they earned more than $26,000 per year; now that family can earn up to $30,00 per year and obtain SNAP. This simple advance makes 750,000 additional low-income working households statewide (about half of which live in New York City) eligible for federal nutrition benefits.
This new policy both rewards work and fights hunger. It ensures that fewer families will lose vital food help if they work more hours or get a slight raise.
For our society to truly flourish, heads of households must earn more for their family by working than by not working. This action of Governor Cuomo will significantly advance that basic goal.