The Partnership for the Homeless

Food Insecurity a Symptom of Income Inequality

A response to the NYT editorial, "School Lunch Without Shame"

Our public schools' free lunch program, while laudable, should force us to reflect on some difficult questions if we are willing to gaze beneath the veneer of prosperity in our rich city. 

The most fundamental one is why countless New York City families are so desperately poor that they cannot afford to send their children to school with a nutritious lunch. While we may be filling an urgent need, these poor families struggle every day, eking out a subsistence living, making terrible choices between paying for rent or food or medical care. 

So as Mayor Bill de Blasio rightly speaks about income inequality and a tale of two cities, his pronouncements are in danger of becoming empty slogans unless we create a plan that begins to attack poverty at its root. 

And although it may be a herculean challenge, it's a plan that is far from radical and underpinned by access to decent and affordable housing, a chance to go to school that truly prepares young people for a prosperous future, an opportunity for moms and dads to find living-wage work, and for the whole family, access to high-quality health care.

Arnold S. Cohen
President & CEO

As appearing in Letters to the Editor, New York Times, September 18 2017, Re "School Lunch Without Shame"


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