Sunday, December 28, 2014

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The Call Blog: Helping The Hungry And Giving Thanks

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We heard a lot about the 'tale of two cities' on the campaign trail this summer. Some in this town found the phrase to be divisive or untrue. But some facts are hard to ignore. Wall Street broke a record high this year, and so did the rate of poverty. Millions of New Yorkers are struggling. Visit any food pantry in the five boroughs and you'll see for yourself.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio volunteered today distributing Thanksgiving turkeys at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn. His presence was designed to bring attention to the growing need to help New Yorkers put food on the table. Yesterday, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger said one-sixth of New Yorkers live in households without enough to eat, and there's been a ten percent increase at soup kitchens and food pantries from last year.

At today's event, de Blasio said his proposed tax increase on wealthy residents to pay for pre-Kindergarten programs could help combat poverty. Supporters of the idea have argued universal pre-K would save New Yorkers from spending money on childcare and meals. And a Quinnipiac University poll released today found a majority of New Yorkers are behind the tax. The statewide poll found 63 percent of voters support the idea. Do you?

On this Thanksgiving, are you seeing more and more New Yorkers struggling to put food on the table? Are you affected by rising food costs? Would a tax on those earning $500,000 a year or more help break the cycle of poverty? And finally, who or what are you thankful for this holiday?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

Not surprising soup kitchens increased under Bloomberg. It is people like him that laws are made to protect us from their white collar corruption

Park Hill

New York City has an increase in homelessness and has jumped to 13% since January. Homelessness has increased, especially with families, which I find must sad indeed. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio faces a most disturbing issue which he has promised to address. In N.Y.C. the shelter population has reached record levels not seen since the Great Depression era. In January there were 64,060 people in homeless shelters and living on the street. There is a paucity of affordable housing and added to that the rent is too high. Mayor-elect de Blasio must succeed where Mayor Bloomberg has failed. I remember a time where I myself was homeless after the Vietnam War, whereas I had served in the U.S.Navy. I had lived on the street for a time but was saved by the kindness of a stranger who gave me shelter. It is reported that this Winter will be a cold and bitter one and will be very hard for anyone living on the street. Now I know that too well, because I lived through a bitter Winter long ago on the streets of Hempstead. So I plead with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to do what he promised in his campaign. These men, women and children really need help. They really do. This holiday season remember to give to your local food kitchens, food pantries, Churches, Temples and communities groups trying to help those in need. Remember this too," Crimson skies and baby blue eyes a little child asks why."

Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.

Hi John,

By Taxing someone that makes $500,000 a year is not going to ease the problem of poverty. The people taking the polls should be the ones that are going to be taxed as to help others out of part of their poverty whether it be food, school, lodgings, etc. Not the recipients. This DeBlasio has to walk the walk and talk the talk and not think that he is trying to solve the poverty problem by distributing turkeys. Remember he did not pay for them. He makes it sound as though he ad hears to the needs of the poor.


I do wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and let’s hope things change for the better.

Thank you John,

Hi John

I'm not affected by the rising cost of food but i know some people that are i do believing in helping those that need help providing food for their kids if they would let me help because no child should be hungry, this is the holiday season its a time for giving, Mayor-elect Diblasio should tax the rich. I'm thankful for my doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital they found two hernias i'm going in for the second operation next month i'm also thankful to have a best friend at the hospital, Evonne you are the most compassionate and caring nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Upper west side


The thing to do about the hungry is to teach them how to take care of themselves and not be dependent on others. Otherwise there will never been an end to their situation and the numbers will continue to increase forever. Not a pretty picture.

Port Richmond, SI

To allThe Call family. Know that you provide a service and voice to the folks of our Gotham city. Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

Joe and Family, Bay Terrace

thanksgiving dinner can be bought at a diner for about 15 dollars-------if i was homeless i would dig deep to go eat by myself in a diner---its the rest of the days we all have to worry about to keep people from starving----i wonder if the food that is served for one day on thanksgiving could be used for a few weeks if the holiday wasnt stressed----


The United States has one holiday that regardless of race, religion, nationality or any other belief is for all citizens (well, for those who live here anyway). It gives us all a chance to be grateful.

Why can’t we live without shopping for one day and teach our children simple values ?


I have never seen as many homeless on the subways, and in the streets, since the Reagan/Koch era. Hunger is a factor, as nutritional foods have almost become a luxury to afford. The gap between the rich and the poor is staggering, and we need innovative thinkers from every community to come together and assist the new Mayor to address these problems, both financially and responsibly.

Michael in Woodside

hello my handsome John: I am thankful for living in the greatest city in the world, regardless of what anyone may say, I am thankful for my health, for my kids, and just for being alive another day.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving John :)
Carmen from Bay Ridge

I am so grateful that Bloomberg is out! We have been seeing the results of his failed policies for over a decade! Growth in poverty, hunger, stagnant wages, closed schools, union busting, demonization of teacher and unions without contracts! The reign of terror is over!

Awilda fr Brookyln

I don't think welfare and food stamps are the answer. They don't work and should be used for the neediest cases. I see so many children verbally abused on the streets of New York. It is heart breaking. I see mother's hitting their children on the streets. If someone is too poor to have a family, and they lack the education to raise a child properly and with love, they should not be allowed to have children. The cycle will continue with dysfunctional and potentially dangerous adults that were abused as kids. Education is the answer to poverty. Poor people should not be rewarded with benefits just for having more kids. It is not fair to the children and not fair to the hard working class.

Karen from Chelsea

Taxing the rich is not going to be enough. We need jobs, tuition based programs to help people pay for higher education. We need preventive programs to keep children from falling through the educational cracks and more ESL programs to keep students from dropping out of school. Those programs will end poverty.

Happy Thanksgiving John to you and your family
Miss Mae from Harlem

I don't think raising taxes on the rich will change life in NYC for the lower income or even middle class NYers. It's not that simple. The overall cost of living in NYC is sky high - from rents to home ownership, rents for business, including everything from offices to bodegas on the corner, commuting fees, food prices, and the prices of just about everything a person "consumes" in life, here in NYC are just way too expensive. The overall cost of living needs to be addressed to create a more level playing field here. How that gets done is another question altogether. As long as there are enough people who want live here and are willing and able to pay outrageous prices, things won't change. So, raising taxes may help some small things but it's a systemic problem without a simple, one step answer.

Patricia in Brooklyn

I'm thankful for a chance for NYC to start over. Hopefully, the new mayor can help this town from further becoming a pyramid scheme for big business.

Flushing, NY

Everyone is adhering to a budget for the Holiday. With food prices up, and some losing their food stamps, or getting them cut, some still "unemployed" it is tight for most of the population. I have heard a lot about how some can't put meat on their tables. The highlight of the day was when the "Pope spoke out against the Capitalism and the disparity of the poor'. I thought it was about time someone of that magnitude speak out against the injustice of the poor today. He did not bite his tongue he said it like it is and I hope that those right winged Politicians will see the error of their ways.

In this holiday I am thankful for good health and my family.

Upper West Side

I am very thankful Bloomberg is finally leaving. His third term almost broke the will of the working class. DeBlasio has come at just the right time- he will be a team player as opposed to someone who was trying to squeeze the worker every chance they got. We should all be thankful that Bloomberg's forced third term is over.

Chris from Brooklyn

I am thankful for good health, a full belly and a warm apartment. Everybody should be as fortunate as I.

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