New York State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Responds to Governor’s State of the State

Union Applauds Governor’s Healthy Food/Health Communities

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (01/07/2009)(readMedia)–

New York State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Commends Governor Paterson on Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative; Urges Additional Funding and Strict Guidelines

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York States and New York City’s largest Labor Union representing supermarket workers, applauded Governor David Patterson today for his announcement in the State of State of a Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative. Such an initiative includes $10 million dollars for revolving loans to food markets interested in locating in “underserved” communities.

“Today Governor David Patterson showed that New York State is prepared to get serious about the health and economic consequences of our disappearing Supermarkets,” stated Bruce W. Both, President of United Food Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. President Both also serves as a member of the Governor’s Council on Food Policy and the New York City Supermarket Commission.

“The Governor has taken a bold first step down what we hope will be the road to communities once again being built on three key blocks: good food, good jobs and good health. On behalf of our 23,000 members, I again applaud the Governor for this initiative and look forward to working with the administration and legislature as we sort out the always important details of such a plan,” said President Both.

UFCW Local 1500 has spent the last 2 years working with State, County and City officials on the growing problem of disappearing supermarkets and its affect on the health and economies of communities. New York City’s own Department of City Planning did a report that concluded that New York City alone is need of over 100 full service Supermarkets.

“When responsible supermarkets owners/operators open in communities, they bring excellent wages, healthcare and an improved standard of living. The community also gets access to healthy food, a greater number of products available, as well as the type of competition that forces reasonable pricing and improved product quality, said President Both.

“Those factors lead to lower rates of serious health problems in communities, such as obesity and diabetes. As people find themselves reducing their need for doctors, prescriptions and hospitalizations to solve health problems, then our economy benefits as well,” President Both pointed out. “Local 1500’s Building Blocks Project established these facts over the last two years and today we are excited to see Governments response,” Both concluded.

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