New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0996-2019    Version: * Name: Require New York prisons and jails to provide plant-based food options to incarcerated people.
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Criminal Justice
On agenda: 7/23/2019
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon New York State Legislature to pass, and Governor to sign, legislation that require New York prisons and jails to provide plant-based food options to incarcerated people.
Sponsors: Fernando Cabrera , Farah N. Louis
Council Member Sponsors: 2
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 996, 2. July 23, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 3. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 7-23-19, 4. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - July 23, 2019

Res. No. 996

 

Resolution calling upon New York State Legislature to pass, and Governor to sign, legislation that require New York prisons and jails to provide plant-based food options to incarcerated people.

 

By Council Members Cabrera and Louis

 

Whereas, Plant-based or vegan food options constitute meals that contain no animal products or byproducts, including meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish, or seafood; and

Whereas, According to Medical News Today, a 2017 report found that 6% of people in the U.S. identify as vegan, and this percentage is increasing; and

Whereas, Nutrition research has proven that plant-based diets are indisputably healthier and provide more preventive benefits over meat-based diets; and

Whereas, A recent article published by Harvard Medical School held that plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers, while strengthening mental and physical function; and

Whereas, Aside from extensive health benefits, studies have shown that the widespread adoption of plant-based food diets may save hundreds of thousands of dollars in food production and health care costs, according to an article in The Atlantic; and   

Whereas, The New York State Senate recently passed legislation that would require New York hospitals to offer plant-based meals and snacks to patients; and

Whereas, However, the legislation does not require New York prisons and jails to offer plant-based meals to incarcerated individuals; and

Whereas, According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) prison food complaints are among the most commonly received grievances; and

Whereas, According to an article in the Times Union, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYS DOCCS) receives on-average 21 food-related grievances per month from its population; and    

Whereas, In 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that requires hospitals, healthcare facilities, and state prisons to offer at least one vegan option at every meal, in order to reduce the prevalence of diet-induced chronic illnesses among incarcerated individuals; and

Whereas, Since 2016, The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires every federal prison in the U.S. to provide plant-based food options to inmates; and

Whereas, New York City has taken steps to promote healthy plant-based food options for all New Yorkers; and

Whereas, For example, the New York City Council has proposed legislation calling on the New York City Department of Education to ban processed meats from public school lunches to ensure that school children receive safe, healthy food in their cafeterias; and

Whereas, Moreover, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Program at Bellevue Hospital, a preventative medicine program that transitions patients to a plant-based lifestyle; and

Whereas, New York State must recognize that equal access to nutritious food options that meets the dietary, religious, cultural, and ethical needs of all New Yorkers is a human right; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon New York State Legislature to pass, and Governor to sign, legislation that require New York prisons and jails to provide plant-based food options to incarcerated people. 

 

LS6532

6/20/19

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