New York City homeless shelter residents criticize food quality

Finger points at expiration date on a can of food
Finger points at expiration date on a can of food
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New York City homeless shelter residents criticize food quality

Four shelter residents have previously threatened to sue the city over being served expired meals
November 22, 2019

New York City homeless shelters are offering moldy and rotten food to their residents, according to testimony at a City Council hearing yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The push to address food concerns in shelters started when several residents at the Auburn Family Reception Center at Fort Greene said they became sick from being served expired chicken salad last month. Sally Sherman Food provided the meals that had the initial expiration date of Sep. 20 covered with a new label marking the date as Oct. 31. Four of the residents came forward threatening an $8 million lawsuit against the city earlier this month. 

Fabienne Laraque, the medical director for the Department of Homeless Services, said at the Thursday hearing that those meals had tested “negative for bacteria pathogens.” The city has since stopped working with the food vendor, and Laraque noted that the department performs semi-annual food inspections at each of its shelters and those contracted out.

The food issues facing shelter residents aren’t limited to quality: In another case, a shelter resident said she asked for a halal or kosher meal during Ramadan, only to be met by laughter from the staff at one HELP USA shelter, despite the city Department of Homeless Services requiring religious accommodation for meals.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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