A Primer for Our New Mayor

The New York City Food Forum, a gathering of New York City food-active organizations, encourages our new Mayor to lead us towards a better food future for every New Yorker.

1. Hunger remains a persistent challenge. Our Mayor must:
- Enable more New Yorkers to put ample food on their tables by seeking State legislation empowering the City to enact a living minimum wage and leveraging the City's economic power, through economic development programs, contracts, subsidies, and land use policy, to support and create living wage jobs; 
- Focus the City's welfare to work programs on job creation and training and create a public works program to break the post-recession cycle of high unemployment;
- Maximize participation in food assistance programs by removing barriers and disincentives, providing leadership and ample staff to improve effectiveness and civility, expanding education and enrollment efforts, taking full advantage of federal waivers and initiatives, and simplifying application processes and extending recertification periods; 
- Increase the Emergency Food Assistance Program budget to $15 million and increase funding to expand senior center meal service and homebound meal delivery; and
- Be the nation's greatest municipal advocate for protecting and strengthening federal nutrition assistance programs, including advocating for aligning the SNAP food budget with the USDA Low Cost Food Plan.

2. Healthy Food will sustain our City’s greatest natural resource, New Yorkers. Our Mayor must:
- Extend cost-effective SNAP EBT processing capabilities to more farmers’ markets and other food providers, including Green Carts, increase Health Bucks funding, and supplement Farmers Market Nutrition Program funding; 
- Decrease the human and financial costs of preventable, diet-related illness and death by discouraging the promotion of unhealthy – high fat, sugar, and salt – food, especially to parents and children; and
- Promote access to healthy food by supporting community gardens, farmers’ and mobile markets, food vendors and other markets offering fresh and healthy choices, and CSAs and food co-ops.

3. School Food is a bulwark against student hunger, poor nutrition and health, and inattention. Our Mayor must:
- Implement free school lunch for all, mandate breakfast in every homeroom, and increase the number of sites serving summer and after-school meals; 
- Continue to increase the nutritional value and quality of school meals by enhancing kitchen staff skills and increasing kitchen capital investment, so more tasty meals, that our children will want to eat, can be made from scratch, with more fresh, local ingredients; and 
- Increase food literacy by continuing school garden support and mandating food and nutrition education, K to12, developing curricula with parents, teachers, and students to start in elementary school with homeroom gardens and to continue through middle and high schools with healthy food choice, cooking, and food justice education.

4. Food Economy, in a food town like no other, can be an engine for growth. Our Mayor must:
- Support regional farms and local food hubs, public markets, food vendors, food business incubators, urban agriculture, and community kitchens that provide healthy food, entrepreneurial opportunity, and living wages;
- Use the power of the City’s food budget to improve the nutritional quality of the meals it serves and support New York and other regional farms and food processors by aggressively employing regional preference and freshness criteria in food purchasing for meals served by City agencies, including the Department of Education;
- Eliminate wage theft and support safe working conditions, availability of paid sick days - in lieu of ordered shift swaps, health benefits, and the right to organize for every City food chain worker.

5. Food Governance in our City covers every segment of the food chain. While the City has a Food Policy Coordinator and an inter-agency food task force, there is no entity that clearly and openly coordinates food activities, nor is there a formal, inclusive mechanism for New Yorkers to inform City food policies. Our Mayor must:
- Establish high-level coordination of the City's food activities to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness through a Department of Food, or another empowered, adequately resourced mechanism; 
- Enhance Food Metrics reporting by adding goals, integrating food purchasing source information, and adding additional information about food programs, including nutrition program participation, emergency food programs and food distribution preparedness, and urban agriculture land availability; and
- Support and fund an inclusive, participative process that engages New Yorkers from every food system intersection - public, private, not-for-profit, community/production, processing, distribution, consumption, waste - to give them a voice in shaping our City’s food future.
About the New York City Food Forum

The New York City Food Forum is a collaboration of more than 90 food-active organizations that have come together to achieve their shared vision of a better food future for every New Yorker. In addition to working collectively, each NYCFF organization also works to advance the issues most aligned with its own focus and mission and may not subscribe to every position adopted by the NYCFF. Together, these organizations reach tens of thousands of people through their respective outreach, education, programing, and advocacy efforts.

‘A Food Primer for Our New Mayor’ is supported by the following organizations:* 

#QualityACCESS Initiative

American Farmland Trust

Ample Table for Everyone

Amplify Urban Planning

Baum Forum

Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger

Beth-Hark Christian Counseling Center, Inc.

Bon Secours New York Health System

Brighter Green

Broadway Community Inc. / WHANAP

Bronx Health REACH

Brooklyn Food Coalition

Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest Center Inc.

Butter Beans

Cathedral Community Cares

Citizens' Committee for Children of New York

City Harvest

Coalition for Asian American Children and Families

Columbia SIPA Food Systems Student Group

Community Food Advocates

Community Health Action of Staten Island

Congregation Beth Elohim

Corbin Hill Food Project

Down to Earth Markets

East New York Farms


Edible Schoolyard NYC

Food & Water Watch

Food Bank For New York City

Food Chain Workers Alliance

Food Systems Network NYC


Fresh Exchange, BK

GRACE Communications Foundation

Green Guerillas

Green Rabbits

Greenpoint Reformed Church Hunger Program

Harlem Health Promotion Center

Hattie Carthan Community Garden

Heritage Radio Network

Hot Bread Kitchen

Hunger Action Network of New York State

Isabahlia L.O.E.F

Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club

Just Food

Karp Resources

Laurie M Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

Leviticus Church / Five Loaves and Two Fishes

Local 1500

Local Initiatives Support Corporation NYC

LSA Family Health Service

Masbia Soup Kitchen Network

Men Who Dine

Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP)

Neighbors Together

New Territories

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

New York City Community Gardening Coalition

New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College

Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation

NRDC Action Fund

NY Faith & Justice

NYC Food and Fitness Partnership

NYC Foodscape

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals

Parent Earth

Program in Nutrition, Teachers College Columbia U

Project Hosptiality

Public Health Solutions

Queens County Farm Museum

Red Rabbit

The River Fund New York


Scenic Hudson Inc.

S.E.E.D.S (Society for Environmental Education Development Sustainability)

Slow Food Huntington

Slow Food NYC

Slow Money NYC

Southside United HDFC (Los Sures)

St. Edward Food Pantry

St. Mary's Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen

Staten Island Hunger Task Force

Strugatz Ventures

Sustainable Flatbush

The Sylvia Center

Turning Point

United Neighborhood Houses

Waste to Wealth Ventures

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Welfare Rights Initiative

Wellness in the Schools

West Side Campaign Against Hunger


Xavier Mission

Subpages (1): NYCFF Organizations