To The Editor:
In regard to the Feb. 2 story, “De Blasio Unveils Preliminary Budget For Fiscal Year 2019,” Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary budget makes important investments in our city, and I hope that as the mayor and City Council continue to work on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, they will ensure every New Yorker has access to healthy food, no matter where they live.
As a mother who raised her two children in Forest Hills—and is now a grandmother of a 9-month-old growing up here—I appreciate the easy access to numerous and varied fruits and vegetables within walking distance of where we live. We are fortunate to be able to afford to purchase all the healthy food we have access to locally. The benefits of eating healthy meals are well documented with regard to fighting obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Every family should have the same opportunity to eat healthy meals so necessary for good health.
I support the American Heart Association’s call to fund programs that will increase access to healthy food in Queens and across the city, especially for neighborhoods that need it most, such as Far Rockaway and Jamaica.
The city should commit $15 million to expand SNAP incentives, such as the successful Health Bucks program, so that more New Yorkers can afford fresh fruits and vegetables. One in five New Yorkers receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which reduce food insecurity and help households rise out of poverty.
Every family should have access to the foods that help support a balanced diet and a healthier life.