As an elected official, I’ve always made increasing New Yorkers’ access to quality, affordable–and if possible, locally grown– food a priority.

It’s why, as a member of the City Council, I worked to pass Local Law 50, which prioritized New York state food purveyors in the city’s purchasing process if they are within 10% of the lowest bid (and why I then sponsored field trips for city purchasers to upstate farms and dairies to familiarize them with the food that local growers can provide). And it’s why I supported establishment of the city’s “Fresh” program designed to encourage more supermarkets in food deserts in the city.

As Manhattan Borough President, I have…

  • Issued a research report on how to preserve supermarkets in Manhattan.
  • Sponsored a bill (Intro 1472) with then-Council Member Corey Johnson to exempt supermarkets from the Commercial Rent Tax in Manhattan. Listen to my remarks from the introduction presser here.
  • Outlined the age-friendly policies–discounts, accessibility, and restrooms– of almost every supermarket in Manhattan.
  • Co-sponsored the “Fresh Food for Seniors” program at many local senior centers, which offers discounted bags of locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables each summer and fall. (If you run a senior center and would like to join the program, send us an email!)
  • Pushed the City Dept. of Education to more effectively disclose the sites of the Summer Meals for Kids program– passing legislation which requires disclosure by June 1st– and published flyers of my own with that vital information to help get public school kids fed during summer vacations.
  • Read more about many of these programs by following the links below.

Brewer holds vegetables with two seniors

Grow: Urban Gardening Symposium

Useful links

TK — insert links here

Fresh food for seniors

This program (a version of which I first opened in my City Council district in 2012), established in partnership with senior centers and many local Council Members (this year including Chelsea & Clinton’s Corey Johnson and the Upper West Side’s Helen Rosenthal), allows seniors to purchase fresh, regionally grown fruit and vegetables for just $8 a bag. The process is simple: seniors pay for a bag a week in advance at a participating senior center, and pickup their produce the following week.  Keep Reading…

Summer meals for kids

The New York City Department of Education serves over 700,000 free meals to children every day during the school year, helping keep children fed and healthy and ready to learn. But what happens when school lets out for the summer? Many eligible families don’t know about the federally funded Summer Meals Program offered across the city. This crucial resource provides free, nutritious breakfasts and lunches to children 18 and younger at convenient sites across the city – with the added benefit of seven-day services and four mobile food trucks. Keep Reading…