Monday, April 17, 2006

New York nutrition news

Mayor Seeks to Lower a Barrier for Food Stamps - New York Times:
"Since she took office in 2002, the city's public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, has called for the city to accept the waiver, and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, this month proposed setting aside $260,000 a year to operate a new citywide office to combat hunger and obesity."

The number of "food stamp" (actually EFT cards now) users in New York City was over 1.5 million when former mayor Giuliani began an aggressive program to cut back on public dependency of all types. He cut it in half, but under Bloomberg the number has climbed back over the million mark. Of these 43,000 are able-bodied adults and the change being sought by the Bloomberg administration is expected to expand that category by at least a quarter.

[ASIDE: The office of the public advocate in New York City is one of the strangest known to American politics. You would think that, between the mayor and comptroller, the five borough presidents, and the 51 city council members there would be substantial advocacy for the public by city elected officials. But, New York being the greatest city in the world, they need a 59th elected city officer to speak for the people. (And that's not counting the district attorneys and the borough and community boards and all the other impedimenta of modern governance.)


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