Mayor Eric Adams signed earlier on Thursday two executive orders at the Mercy Center Bronx, an emergency food pantry, seeking to display his administration’s commitment to serving nutritious and healthy food citywide.
“If we want to encourage New Yorkers to be healthier, the city must set the tone,” Adams said. “The executive orders we are signing today build on the progress we have made to better align our policies with our public health priorities and show that New York City continues to lead the nation on food policy that centers equity and justice.”
Along with the order, the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced their publication of a new Food Distribution Program that will include fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time since the program began 30 years ago.
“Nutrition is one of the keys to a happy and prosperous life, and this administration is committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to healthy, quality food,” DSS Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins said.
There has been positive feedback from the community of health experts on this new executive order.
“Today’s executive orders are another important step in supporting children and families in their lifelong health journey,” Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom said. “Aligning the city’s procurement and offering transparency in this area demonstrate that the city is committed to food system reform to put the city on a healthier, more sustainable path.”
Though this order will not solve all of the issues regarding health and nutrition within the community, some advocates say it is a step in the right direction.
“Mayor Adams’ executive orders are a terrific step toward creating a food environment that makes it easier for New Yorkers to eat better and stay healthy,” Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, said.