NY: Access to Affordable Healthy Food Should be a Right in NYC


  • Your Municipal Officials
  • Speaker Corey Johnson


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Access to Affordable Healthy Food Should be a Right in NYC

Dear [Decision Maker],

As one of your New York City constituents, I am pleased to hear about your commitment to increasing access to health care. While I could not agree more about health care being a right, I also believe that all New Yorkers should have the to the tools necessary to live healthy lifestyles--including access to affordable healthy foods.

Millions of New Yorkers live in neighborhoods across the city where affordable, healthy food options, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are almost nonexistent. Meanwhile, fast food restaurants and corner stores with few healthy options are omnipresent in these same neighborhoods. For these New Yorkers, access to affordable, healthy food has become a privilege afforded to others rather than a right for all. This is so alarming because approximately 18 percent of all cancers are caused by poor diet, physical inactivity, excess weight, and excess alcohol consumption.

If you want to make New York City the fairest big city in America then you need to ensure that every family has access to and be able to afford the tools that help support a balanced diet and a healthier life.

We encourage you to help store owners bring and keep healthy foods on their shelves; provide financial incentives to businesses willing to open healthy food; establishments in underserved neighborhoods; use zoning rules to promote healthy foods; discourage the consumption of sugary drinks; further expand SNAP benefits, and strengthen school nutritional standards.

We need you and the City Council to take decisive steps that will reduce obesity in our city and prevent even more unnecessary deaths. Like health care, access to affordable healthy foods should not be a privilege afforded to some rather it should be a right for all New Yorkers.

Thank you for considering this request.

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