CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor
e-newsletter of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute  

Emerging Challenges in Food Assistance Policy
By Jan Poppendieck

Ever since the Republican Party scored its electoral trifecta, gaining control of the White House and both houses of Congress, anti-hunger activists have been preparing for big fights over the nation’s food assistance safety net. The three main arenas for this contest are: the federal budget, Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation, and the Farm Bill.

The budget proposals, released annually by the House Budget Committee and by the Presidential administration in power, have only a limited effect on the actual budget, which is crafted in a series of deals among Appropriations subcommittees and House and Senate leaders. In recent years this process has been affected by the need to raise the debt ceiling in order to prevent the government from shutting down. Nevertheless, these budget plans are useful as windows into the thinking of prominent players. A companion piece in this issue details the threats to SNAP [The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps] and WIC [The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children] in President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget.
Read More
Can Public Health Advocates in Europe and United States Together Protect Public Health Regulation of Food?
In both Europe and the United States, public health regulation of the food industry is under attack. In both these major world markets, the global food industry is using its power and influence to oppose taxes on sugary beverages, resist mandates for stronger regulation of food labeling, and defend continued presence of pesticides and herbicides in many foods. But the growing health and economic burden of diet-related chronic diseases—also called non-communicable diseases—is creating new opportunities for support for stronger public health protection.
Read More
CUNY Food Collaboratory Update:  Andrew Maroko and the Geography of Local Food Environments
CUNY School of Public Health faculty member Andrew Maroko studies the spatial relationships between environmental exposures and health outcomes. Over the past decade, his research has examined how the geography of food environments, from the placement of farmers markets, green carts, and supermarkets to subway food and beverage ads, affect diet and health. His most recent study, with colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Health System, assessed two of the main food environments that local food businesses offer: ‘grazing environments’ characterized by ready-to-consume foods, and ‘grocery environments’ characterized by foods and ingredients used in meal preparation.
Read More
CUNY Food Security Advocates
By Kathleen Delgado
In spring 2018, Healthy CUNY and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute launched the CUNY Food Security Advocates Project to advance the goal of ending food insecurity among CUNY students. This demonstration project focuses on preparing students at John Jay College and Hostos Community College to become advocates who can take action to reduce food insecurity and hunger on their campuses. Students worked on a variety of projects that showcased the importance of addressing food insecurity by using print and other media campaigns.  They also created a food justice alliance at John Jay, and facilitated cash and food donations to the John Jay and Hostos Food Pantries.
Read More
Threats to SNAP and WIC by Trump Administration’s Proposed Budget
By Paola Duarte
In February, the Trump Administration released its proposed FY 2019 Budget.  The budget would reduce support for mandatory and discretionary spending on domestic programs, while boosting spending on military and immigration enforcement. President Trump is proposing a 30% cut to nutrition programs including SNAP and WIC, a total cut of $213.5 billion over 10 years. It will restructure how benefits are given and will reduce eligibility for millions of Americans. This is especially relevant since SNAP benefits 44 million people each month. At one point, the average monthly benefit for SNAP recipients was $133.85, which has gone down to $125.79 per person in recent years. The proposed cuts would decrease that further. Other cost-cutting strategies include restricting time-limit waivers, capping benefits to large households, eliminating SNAP nutrition education, eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and raise the age for those eligible for work requirement related time limits from 49 to 62.  See also Jan Poppendieck's post on federal food assistance policy above.
Read More

Upcoming Institute Events

Urban Food Policy Forum:  Food Security in New York in 2018 and Beyond

May 17, 2018, 9:00am - 10:30am
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
55 West 125th Street, 7th Floor New York, NY, 10027
With ongoing changes in the political landscape, many people are concerned with food security and how current and potential policy proposals could affect their family and community. On May 17th, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute will explore the current state of federal, state, and city food security policy by discussing threats and opportunities.

Fluid image 1
Greg Silverman, Executive Director, West Side Campaign Against Hunger

Fluid image 2
David DeVaughn, Director, Policy & Community Engagement at City Harvest
Fluid image 1
Triada Stampas, Vice President for Research & Public Affairs at Food Bank For New York City
Fluid image 2
Dawn Secor, SNAP Policy Specialist, Hunger Solutions New York
The forum will be moderated by Jan Poppendieck, Senior Research Fellow at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. Her primary concerns as a scholar and activist are poverty, hunger, and food assistance in the United States.
Watch for details on our next forum coming soon: Food, Trade, and Health: What are the Connections? to be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Alyshia Galvez, Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at Lehman College and the former director of the Jaime Lucero Institute of Mexican Studies at City University of New York. She is author of the forthcoming book, Eating NAFTA: Trade and Food Policies and the Destruction of Mexico.

David Sanders is founder and Emeritus Professor of the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. He is also a founder of the People's Health Movement, a global movement that promotes health justice. For the past decades, he has studied the health consequences of South Africa's changing food system.

The moderator is Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health, the Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and author of Lethal but Legal Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health (Oxford, 2014, 2016)


Institute News
The Food Policy Institute Welcomes Morgan Ames​​​​​​​
Morgan Ames is a passionate public health advocate specializing in food policy. Prior to joining CUNY, Morgan was a Policy Advisor in the NYC Mayor's Office of Food Policy where she provided strategic planning and analysis on policies and intitiatives lead by the City of New York. She has also coordinated public health efforts in the hospital sector in Baltimore, and assisted with legislative and advocacy work in DC around child nutrition programs.

Morgan has a MPH with a concentration in health policy from The George Washington University and a BS in Public Health from the University of Maryland, College Park. Morgan is working with the Institute to investigate ways to advance institutional food procurement in Brooklyn through the use of regional sourcing, and what the implications for those changes could mean for wider programmatic and policy level changes that can support expanding, sustaining or improving institutional food programs, a project sponsored by the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
Partner News & Upcoming Events
West Side Campaign Against Hunger Celebrates the Official Launch of Their New Mobile Market

In a ceremony on Tuesday May 15th, the West Side Campaign Against Hunger formally launched its new Mobile Food Pantry. City Council Member Helen Rosenthal was on hand to provide a keynote speech, with introductory remarks from Barbara Turk, New York City’s Director of Food Policy. For more details on the Mobile Food Pantry contact Also, follow WSCAH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
5.18.18 - 2018 Conference: Build.Community.Power.  (NYC)

Each year, ANHD’s Community Development policy conference uniquely brings different constituencies – community groups, mission-driven developers, neighborhood organizers, banks and bank regulators, foundation funders, and government decision makers – together for a full day of timely policy and skills workshops, high-profile plenary speakers, and networking to discuss the most pressing issues of the community development movement.  Info and tickets.
6.19.18 & 6.20.18  (Cardiff University, UK)

Fluid image 1
Subscribe to this newsletter