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Office of Emergency Management

Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, August 24, 2020
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 The New York City Office of Emergency Management (“OEM”) previously issued a temporary emergency rule establishing an emergency food delivery program for vulnerable homebound New Yorkers who (1) are impacted by food insecurity during the declared COVID-19 public health emergency and (2) meet certain eligibility criteria. Under the Charter, emergency rules remain in effect for 60 days unless extended by the agency. OEM now seeks to continue the program by establishing the program by rule on an ongoing basis.

The emergency food delivery program feeds New Yorkers facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 public health emergency by paying Taxi and Limousine Commission-licensed drivers of taxis and for-hire vehicles, or other drivers as determined by the agency, to deliver free meals to program participants. The program is focused on the City’s most vulnerable populations.

 In order to receive services under the program, the individual or family must meet all of the following criteria:

1. No member of the household is able to obtain food from outside the home:

o as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency (e.g. the individual is in quarantine or otherwise restricted to their home as a result of City and/or State emergency orders and policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency); or

o because the individual is elderly, a person with a disability, or a person with functional needs that prevent or impede travel outside home to obtain food regularly; and

2. The individual or family lacks neighbors or other family members that can and are willing to regularly obtain food for the individual or family; and

3. The individual or family does not receive meal assistance sufficient to cover all meal needs from existing meal delivery programs (including but not limited to Meals on Wheels and God's Love We Deliver); and

4. The household is either:

o unable to afford meal delivery or grocery delivery as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (e.g., crisis led to job loss or other adverse impact on income); or

o normally relies on public food services (e.g., food pantry, soup kitchen, etc.) that are unavailable to the individual or family due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This rule is necessary because food insecurity among a growing number of New Yorkers is an immediate, continuing and significant problem facing the City during the COVID-19 public health crisis. In addition, as businesses lay off workers in response to the emergency orders described above and as individuals remain in their homes and practice social distancing to the maximum extent possible, the City is seeing an increased number of food insecure New Yorkers. This includes but is not limited to those who would normally rely on services outside the home such as food pantries, soup kitchens, or other free food service programs. Existing programs for the home delivery of food to food insecure individuals, operated by the City or by non-profits such as Meals on Wheels and God’s Love We Deliver, do not have adequate staffing or financial capacity to meet the increased needs of this population during the period of this emergency.

In order to address the urgent and growing challenge of providing adequate food supply to vulnerable, homebound New Yorkers, the City has developed an emergency food delivery program.

For food insecure residents who meet the criteria described above, home delivery of meals is the safest and most efficient way to ensure that this population is receiving adequate nutrition. OEM is now proposing to add a new section 1-02 to its rules to codify this program.

Subject: 

Temporary Food Distribution Program (Permanent Rule)

Contact: 

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Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

 

NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF EMERGENCY RULE ESTABLISHMENT EMERGENCY FOOD DELIVERY PROGRAM

 

The Commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management hereby gives notice, pursuant to the authority granted by sections 1043(i) and 497(a) and (d) of the New York City Charter, of the adoption of the following emergency rule, effective immediately, establishing a temporary emergency food delivery program for vulnerable homebound New Yorkers who are impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and meet certain eligibility criteria. 


Statement of Basis and Purpose of Emergency Rule

 

The Office of Emergency Management is adopting an emergency rule establishing a temporary emergency food delivery program to ensure that certain vulnerable New Yorkers facing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency have adequate food access. The program aims to feed New Yorkers facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 public health emergency by deploying Taxi and Limousine Commission-licensed drivers of taxis and for-hire vehicles, or other drivers as determined by the agency, to deliver free meals to program participants.  

 

The program will be focused on the City’s most vulnerable populations. In order to receive services under the program, the individual or family must meet the following criteria:

  1. No member of the household is able to obtain food from outside the home:
  • as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (e.g. the individual is in quarantine or otherwise restricted to their home as a result of City and/or State emergency orders and policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency); or 
  • because the individual is elderly, a person with a disability, or a person with functional needs that prevent or impede travel outside home to obtain food regularly; and
  • The individual or family lacks neighbors or other family members that can obtain food for the individual or family; and
  • The individual or family does not receive meal assistance from existing meal delivery programs (including Meals on Wheels and God's Love We Deliver); and
  • The household is either:
    • unable to afford meal delivery or grocery delivery as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (e.g., crisis led to job loss or other adverse impact on income); or
    • normally relies on public food services (e.g., food pantry, soup kitchen, etc.) that are unavailable to the individual or family due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. 

    This rule is necessary because food insecurity among a growing number of New Yorkers is an immediate and significant problem facing the City during the COVID-19 public health crisis. As businesses lay off workers in response to the Emergency Orders described above and as individuals remain in their homes entirely or to the maximum extent possible, the City expects to see an increased number of food insecure New Yorkers.  This includes but is not limited to those who would normally rely on services outside the home such as food pantries, soup kitchens, or other free food service programs It is anticipated that existing programs for the home delivery of food to food insecure individuals, operated by the City or by non-profits such as Meals on Wheels and God’s Love We Deliver, will not have adequate staffing or financial capacity to meet the needs of this population during the period of this emergency.  

    In order to address the unique and imminent challenge of providing adequate food supply to vulnerable, home-bound New Yorkers, the City has developed an emergency food delivery program. For food insecure residents who meet the criteria described above, home delivery of meals is the safest and most efficient way to ensure that this population is receiving adequate nutrition. 


    Sections 1043(a) and (i) and 497(a) and (d) of the New York City Charter authorize the Office of Emergency Management to issue this emergency rule. Pursuant to Charter section 1043(d)(4)(i), this rule does not require certification or analysis by the Office of Operations.

     

    New material is underlined.

    [Deleted material is in brackets.]

     

    Section 1. The Rules of the City of New York are amended by adding a new Title 72, to read as follows:

     

    TITLE 72

     

    OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

     

    CHAPTER 1

     

    EMERGENCY FOOD DELIVERY PROGRAM

     

    § 1-01. Emergency food delivery. a. An individual or family residing in New York City may request free meals delivered to the home of such individual or family, provided that:

     

    1. No such individual member of the household is able to obtain food from outside the home either:
      1. Due to reasons related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, including but not limited to individuals in quarantine by order of a health care professional or otherwise restricted to their home as a result of City or State emergency orders and policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency; or 
      2. Because the individual is over the age of 60, a person with a disability, or a person with functional needs that prevent or impede travel outside home to obtain food regularly; and
    2. Such individual or family lacks neighbors or other family members that can obtain food for the individual or family; and
    3. Such individual or family does not receive sufficient meal assistance from existing meal delivery programs, including but not limited to Meals on Wheels and God's Love We Deliver; and
    4. Such individual or family either:
      1. Is unable to afford meal delivery or grocery delivery as a result of economic impacts related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, including but not limited to loss of employment or income; or
      2. Would otherwise rely on public food services, including but not limited to food pantries, soup kitchens and senior centers, that are unavailable  or that cannot be accessed by the individual or family due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. 

    b. Such requests must be made in a form and manner as determined by the Commissioner of Emergency Management. Requests for meal delivery pursuant to this section may be made on the City’s website or by calling the City’s 311 call center.  

     

    c. Meals delivered under this program will be delivered by drivers licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission who have chosen to participate in this program in vehicles licensed by such Commission, or may be delivered by such other method as determined by the Commissioner of Emergency Management. Drivers licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission may apply to participate in this program in a form and manner as determined by the Commissioner of Emergency Management.

     

    d. Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting any individual or family that meets the eligibility criteria provided in subdivision a of this section a right to receive meal delivery services under this program. In addition to the requirements for eligibility set forth in subdivision a of this section, delivery of meals pursuant to this section is subject to availability of food and drivers. 


     

    e. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed effective as of March 24, 2020. The program provided for in this chapter will terminate at the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, as determined by Order of the Mayor, or on such other date as determined by the Commissioner of Emergency Management.  


    Required Finding Pursuant to New York City Charter Section 1043(i)(1)

    IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that the immediate effectiveness of this emergency rule, which establishes a temporary emergency food delivery program, is necessary to address a public health emergency and to aid the City of New York in responding to COVID-19. 

     

    On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On January 31, 2020, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. On March 7, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared by Executive Order a disaster emergency for the entire State of New York. On March 12, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency within the City of New York. New York State and New York City continue to take measures to address the threat that COVID-19 poses to the health and welfare of its residents and visitors.  

    On March 20, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 202.8 (“E.O. 202.8”), which stated that “both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York State and are expected to be continue” and that “in order to facilitate the most timely and effective response to the COVID-19 emergency disaster, it is critical for New York State to be able to act quickly to gather, coordinate, and deploy goods, services, professionals, and volunteers of all kinds.” E.O. 202.8 requires that 100 percent of the workforce in the state remain at home, excluding essential services. In practical effect, this E.O has resulted in large-scale closures of storefronts and other work locations, resulting in large-scale lay-offs of workers. 

     

    Food insecurity among a growing number of New Yorkers is an immediate and significant problem facing the City during the COVID-19 public health crisis. As businesses lay off workers in response to public health restrictions imposed on employers and as individuals remain in their homes entirely or to the maximum extent possible, the City expects to see an increased number of food insecure New Yorkers. This includes but is not limited to those who would normally rely on services outside the home such as food pantries, soup kitchens, or other free food service programs. It is anticipated that existing programs for the home delivery of food to food insecure individuals will not have adequate staffing or financial capacity to meet the needs of this population during the period of this emergency.  

     

    Delaying implementation of this rule pending non-emergency rulemaking would foreseeably impede the delivery of the program’s free meals to vulnerable, homebound residents of New York City during this public health emergency. 

     

    Pursuant to section 1043(i)(2) of the New York City Charter, the emergency rule will remain in effect for not more than 120 days while OEM prepares a permanent rule. 

    IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that the immediate effectiveness of a rule authorizing OEM to establish a temporary emergency food delivery program to serve vulnerable New Yorkers affected by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is necessary to address an imminent threat to the health of residents of New York City and to a necessary service that is normally provided to such residents.

     Dated: May 22, 2020  DEANNE CRISWELL

    s/_____________________

    DEANNE CRISWELL

    COMMISSIONER, OFFICE OF  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

    Effective Date: 
    Tue, 06/02/2020