Temporary Food Distribution Program (Permanent Rule)

Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Comment By: 
Monday, August 24, 2020
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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.

Public Hearing

Temporary Food Distribution Program (Permanent Rule)

Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, August 24, 2020 - 10:00am

To participate in the public hearing, enter the WEBEX URL: https://nycem.webex.com/nycem/j.php?MTID=m0ee362464a67969d9bb5b08fe4a78c28 If prompted to provide a password or number, please enter the following: MEETING NUMBER: 129 065 3765 Password Tp7Xt7Jzjj You may also join the meeting via device audio or dial-in via phone. To dial-in via phone, please use the following dial-in phone number and participant code: Phone: 1-646-992-2010 OR 1-408-418-9388 Access Code: 1290653765 from phones and video