In a move that combines the mayor's affinity for overbearing health regulations with his controversial stance on homeless shelters already under fire from advocacy groups and City Council members, a new rule barring food donations to shelters is raising even more concern.
CBS reports on the bizarre rule that turns away food, perhaps the most needed item for any shelter, because according to health officials, it's impossible to gauge the items' salt, fiber, and other nutritional stats.
When asked about the contradictory stipulation, Bloomberg huffed, "For the things that we run because of all sorts of safety reasons, we just have a policy it is my understanding of not taking donations."
Unfortunately, news of the rule is just another day in Bloomberg's "nanny-state." The mayor has been repeatedly criticized for his health initiatives, with many believing his well-intentioned moves to improve New Yorkers' health ultimately infringe upon basic rights.
After instituting the city's restaurant grading system to keep the restaurant industry tidy under a strict inspection process, the mayor credited declining salmonella food poisonings and improving sanitary conditions to the success of the system.
New Yorkers may have conceded to his war on salt, obesity, and trans-fat, but when it came to limiting alcohol sales in January, a quick firestorm ultimately forced Bloomberg to go back to the drawing board and chuck the idea.
But in a more pressing and contested issue, the mayor is also fighting to maintain a new law that requires homeless individuals to prove their homelessness by providing evidence they have nowhere else to turn to.
City Council members subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city with homeless advocates expressing their anger over the "misguided" plan, "In the single adult system, you have a much higher rate of mental illness and other underlying issues. Many of these people have either come directly from the street or will be sent right back out to the street, so our big fear is that this could be a death sentence for many people."
In order to combat overcrowding in city shelters, which exceeded the 40,000 mark in November, Bloomberg also proposed a peculiar deal offering people to take in the homeless in exchange for furniture and possibly even food stamps.