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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in Opinion (1)

Monday
Apr022012

Bloomberg Bans Food Charity

This may sound like a continuation of yesterday’s April Fool Blog, but sadly, it isn’t.

Waste is now a official policy of the Bloomberg administration in New York City.  I recently wrote a blog post about food waste.  They amount of food thrown away and wasted in this country is enormous.  I read about various people across the country that are trying to make use of this food and I thought maybe there was hope to reduce this waste and use it to feed the hungry in our society.  That was before I learned of an even worse outrage.

For over a decade, Glenn Richter and his wife, Lenore, have led a team of food-delivery volunteers from Ohab Zedek, the Upper West Side Orthodox congregation.

They take freshly cooked, nutrient-rich surplus foods from synagogue events to homeless facilities in the neighborhood.  The practice of donating such surplus food to homeless shelters is common among houses of worship in the city.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now decided to make it impossible for Good Samaritans to donate food to government-run facilities that feed the homeless.  For what reason would he restrict free and charitable donations?

You may be familiar with the mayor’s crusade against salt — apparently, it’s bad for you and the government should regulate how much is in your food.  Therefore, in an effort to curb the citizenry’s dirty salt habits, the Bloomberg administration has instructed all government-run shelters to turn away any donated food items that lack specific nutritional information.  

Apparently the food donations ban is “consistent” with Mayor Bloomberg’s desire to “improve nutrition for all New Yorkers.” In fact, the mayor is so dedicated to the cause, that his administration has produced an interagency document that specifically outlines what can and can’t be served, appropriate serving sizes, what content is permissible, fiber minimums, and condiment recommendations.

But not to worry! According to Bloomberg sources, the government-approved food tastes just fine and there’s plenty of it – so they don’t need any of that donated synagogue food.  Which would you prefer?  Food cooked in celebration or food supplied by the government.