Poverty is the central, underlying cause of food inequality.
Over 1.7 million New Yorkers lack access to healthy food options. This isn’t just a food issue, it is a complex economic and social problem that reflects issues of structural racism and inequality. Research shows that accessing and affording nutritious food is especially challenging for those living in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. These disparities in physical and financial access to healthy food are systemic problems caused and exacerbated by public policy. To solve these problems, we need policy solutions.
Our policy and advocacy priorities are to:
1) Defend and expand resources for key federal safety net programs to ensure fair access to healthy food for all
2) Support economic policies proven to lift families out of poverty and improve their ability to afford healthy food
Our work will focus on building our partners’ capacity to develop relationships with federal policy makers at the state level and advocacy campaigns to help fight for federal level policies that increase access to healthy food and give low-income families the means to afford it.
Equity Advocates will work with our partners to develop a robust policy platform in 2019. In the interim, we will be tracking and advocating for the protection and expansion of federal programs, including:
2018 Farm Bill: programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI) Community Food Projects (CFP), Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), Electronic Benefit Transfer and Urban Agriculture provisions.
Social Security: programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act;
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR): child nutrition programs including the Women Infant and Children (WIC) and School Meal programs; WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).
Tax provisions including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).
As our organization and the Coalition of Advocates grows, Equity Advocates will hold annual convenings to bring together our partner groups to develop a robust policy platform based on our partners’ priorities and incorporate state and city level policy issues.