In a working paper published last week, Manhattan President Scott M. Stringer and a coalition of food activists called for the city to take further measure to ensure that New Yorkers have a economical, reliable and local food source during the current recession.
The Food in the Public Interest report [PDF link] called for the creation of a New York City Foodshed, in which farms located within a 100-200 mile radius of the city would receive preference and incentive from government food purchasers.
Borough President Stringer said, “Our food system in New York City needs a radical overhaul. Our stores are full of apples that come thousands of miles from New Zealand and Washington State, rather than hundreds of miles from New Paltz in Ulster County or Whitehall in Washington County, New York. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers live in ‘food deserts’ where there isn’t enough fresh food; meanwhile, food prices are going through the roof, and yet thousands of eligible families cannot get food stamps.”
New Yorkers spend an estimated $1 billion on groceries annually.