Starving the Homeless is Healthy
New York City’s ban on food cooked with transfats is forcing shelters to throw out food donated to homeless shelters.
When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.
“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”
A Manhattan deli going out of business delivered a pickup truck’s worth of lettuce, sundried tomatoes, hamburgers, sausages and other food to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen last week.
With 1,400 meals to serve daily, Operations Manager Michael Ottley was extremely grateful. He didn’t check the trans fat content of the food.
Lines at soup kitchens are up by 21 percent this year, according to a NYC Coalition Against Hunger report released yesterday. The city’s law banishing trans fat took effect in July 2008 and touched everyone with Health Department food licenses — including emergency food providers.
Less than 5 percent of donated food still has the artificial fat, Ottley estimated, but he said, “I can’t in good conscience throw away food.”
Good grief, indeed.