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.
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.
“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.