Quinn Criticizes Fingerprinting For Food Stamp Recipients

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — More often than not City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is on the same page as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but not when it comes to federally funded food stamps.

Quinn wants to stop a policy of the Bloomberg administration that requires people who receive food stamps to get fingerprinted, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

Speaking Monday morning from the Food and Finance High School, Quinn said the policy “actually discourages many New Yorkers from signing up” for food stamps.

“The city argues that it saves city money by reducing fraud, but there is no compelling evidence to support that claim,” Quinn said.

“The truth is, research shows that fingerprinting deterred nearly 30,000 eligible New Yorkers from signing up for food stamps,” Quinn said adding that, as a result, the city “was losing out on over $54 million in federal benefits.”

Quinn labeled the policy as “harmful” and “destructive” to what she said were 1.4 million New Yorkers struggling to put food on the table.

“I call on the Bloomberg administration to abandon it immediately,” Quinn said, “it’s the only right thing to do.”

The Council Speaker said it is hard enough for individuals to admit they need food stamps, but to be fingerprinted like a criminal, Quinn said, made the process too difficult, 1010 WINS’ Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks reported.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

“Now is the time to decriminalize hunger.”

Quinn made her remarks Monday as part of a speech on her 59-point report titled “FoodWorks.”

Quinn said the food policy plan addresses issues at every phase of the food system including production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption.

  • RJ

    I am a US Citizen not a criminal, and up until two years ago, worked all of my life since I was a teenager. My unemployment insurance has just run out but I won’t apply for food stamps on the basis that fingerprinting is INVASIVE. I don’t want to be treated like a criminal just because I’ve hit a rough spot and need a little assistance until I can find work. It is also wasteful because it DOESN’T prevent fraud and the money poured into this expensive program could be put to better use for everyone, especially the hard-working tax-payer..

  • Jennifer

    I agree that program integrity is important. but I also want my taxpayer dollars to be used efficiently and effectively. Fingerprinting people is not worth the cost and is a waste of money. Be smart and get rid of it. The money could be better spent elsewhere, and one less hurdle for needy people to get help is the right thing to do.

  • Jessica

    Quinn is correct. Why should the city pay millions for a fraud detection system that doesn’t detect fraud? City, state and federal government should be using their resources more wisely to fund fraud prevention and detection efforts that do work while breaking down barriers for people who are eligible to receive the federal assistance they need in order to afford healthy food.

  • Les


  • Joel Berg

    Quinn is correct. There is a pile of evidence that finger printing does nothing to prevent fraud. 46 states don’t have it and there is no major problem in those states with illegal immigrants obtaining benefits. The finger printing system is a waste of money that is corporate welfare for the politically-conneced companies with the contracts. Most food stamps recipients are njow the working poor — thay have to leave work to be infinger-printed — insane!

  • Mike Diana

    awsome post I agree

  • jc

    I think that there are alot of people collecting food stamps that are abusing the system. FINGERPRINTING would definitely cut down on FRAUD that is rampant. This Country is very generous and a lot of people feels the need to abuse it.

  • T. Learned

    Quinn can ante up her personal funds for those who commit fraud if fingerprinting is disallowed as per her suggestion. Maybe she will reconsider when she has to pay for those 30,000 “eligible” New Yorkers.

  • Bobby K.

    Not only should they be finger printed, but they shoild also be drug tested.

  • MJF

    Quinn should get a grip and think about why there are 30,000 people running around loose who would rather starve than be fingerprinted.

    I applied, and had no problem being fingerprinted because I’m a CITIZEN, and NOT A CRIMINAL or an ILLEGAL ALIEN.

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