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Mayoral Candidates Talk City Food Subjects In Forum

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Candidates for mayor were chewing over how to end hunger in the five boroughs at a forum Wednesday night. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

On the menu at a mayoral forum Wednesday was getting hungry New Yorkers access to healthy food.

Democrats said the first course, so to speak, was to expand access to food stamps.

"We should make it as easy as possible for people to apply for SNAP at every corner of the food service structure," said Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

"What we have to do, one, is figure out how to make sure everyone who qualifies for EBT is getting it," said Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn.

Next up was making sure kids have access to breakfast in the classroom, and potentially, free school lunches.

"We're missing an opportunity to use available federal funding to make school lunches free," said Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. "And I think we have to end any stigma around school lunches and universalize it. It's crucial."

Others didn't have the best review of school meals, and suggested that quality should be considered.

"The food that is served in schools, often, it sucks. It really does," said Democratic mayoral candidate John Liu. "My son is 12 years old, and for the last seven years that he's been in his public school, he does not like the food."

Several Democrats said the current mayor's approach to making New Yorkers healthy didn't exactly sit well with them.

"I appreciate the idea that Mike Bloomberg innovates and leans into problems, but he picks odd ones to lean into, to be honest with you," Weiner said. "There's a reason people are buying 99-cent sodas, is they can't afford the organic milk I feed to my son."

The only Republican to attend the food forum was John Catsimatidis. He has personal experience in the food business as the owner of the supermarket chain Gristedes.

"I would encourage more products to come into Hunts Point from the local markets, and I believe that will help bring prices down," Catsimatidis said.

In other words, shop locally.

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