A new report urges the NYC mayor to create 10 000 good food jobs in the food sector. The report emphasizes the importance of addressing employment challenges and highlights the potential of the food industry to boost the economy and improve people’s lives in the city.
NYC Mayor to Create 10 000 Good Food Jobs
New York City, along with many other urban areas worldwide, is grappling with diet-related diseases, hunger, and high unemployment rates. In particular, the food system in the U.S. is significantly flawed, leading to environmental degradation, the production of calorie-rich but nutrient-deficient food, and the provision of low-paying jobs with inadequate benefits and unsafe working conditions throughout the food industry.
Efforts to tackle these challenges are often disjointed and not coordinated. The researchers are looking at how workforce development and food policy intersect and the potential benefits of creating good food jobs – jobs that increase access to healthier food for all New Yorkers, provide fair pay and safe working conditions, and promote sustainable economic development.
New York City has a large food industry that employs 326,000 workers. It has experienced a growth rate of 33% in the past decade. Workforce development in the food services sector is supported by various public and private funding sources. This sector offers many entry-level opportunities for low- and moderate-skilled workers, making it an important area for new job creation.
This is especially beneficial for people who were heavily impacted by the 2008 recession, such as those with limited education, recent immigrants, and ambitious entrepreneurs with little capital. The findings of this report could potentially be used as a model for other locations with a significant food sector.
The report Jobs for a Healthier Diet and a Stronger Economy: Opportunities for Creating New Good Food Jobs in New York City by NYC Food Policy Center (Hunter College) proposes that the future Mayor of New York City should promote collaboration between various organizations, including city agencies, employers, and workforce development programs. The goal is NYC mayor to create 10 000 good food jobs by 2020.
The report examines programs in New York City that aim to create better job opportunities in the food industry. It also looks at similar programs in other cities and states. These programs show that it is possible to enhance the wages and working conditions of food workers, which in turn can help to make healthy food more accessible and affordable. However, the report highlights the need for additional support to fully maximize the economic and nutritional benefits of these programs.
The report lists six strategies that can create 1,000 or more good food jobs. These jobs can be new or improved existing positions with better skills, pay, and the quality of food produced or prepared.
The main highlights of the report are as follows:
- Increase enrolment in the New York City Department of Education’s School Lunch program by 15% and in school breakfast programs by 35,000 children. This will create 1,000 new jobs and provide training for school cooks in using healthier ingredients and preparing fresh food.
- Create a project to help 1,000 people sell healthy street food in New York City neighborhood. The project will support immigrants, unemployed individuals, and small business owners.
- Create new food processing plants in New York City to process locally grown food. This will generate employment and new markets for farmers in New York State. It will also enhance the nutritional value of food in institutional food programs.
- Support local businesses by establishing social enterprise organizations that offer affordable, healthy food to private schools, universities, health care facilities, and city programs. This will create jobs and enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations.
- Train and pay home health aides to shop for and cook healthy food for people with diabetes and other diet-related diseases. This will help prevent hospitalizations and improve disease management.
- Enroll 250,000 more New Yorkers in SNAP to boost demand for healthy food in small stores and markets. Use advertising agencies and food organizations to promote healthy food.
The report on sustainable food jobs NYC also urges city government officials and employers to collaborate in developing a robust infrastructure that can support and enhance the growth of quality food jobs. This can be achieved by establishing a city-wide task force that brings together various sectors, as well as creating a new role within the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to supervise and lead these initiatives.
The New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College develops solutions to prevent diet-related diseases and promote food security in New York and other cities. The Center works with policymakers, community organizations, and the public to create healthier food environments along with creating good food jobs in New York city. It also use food for community and economic development. Through research, policy analysis, and education, the Center aims to make New York a model for smart, fair food policy.