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A coalition of elected officials, advocates, and nonprofit leaders have created a plan for the next mayor to end hunger by 2018. The main thrust consists of executive actions the mayor could take, while the rest is rounded out by recommendations for federal, state, and local legislators. It would "make food jobs a central component of the city’s job creation strategy" and "grow, process, and manufacture more food right here in NYC." Other goals would be to push for higher wages, streamline food assistance benefits, and to mandate universal school lunches. The plan would create jobs, aid workers, bolster businesses, and protect the environment, its authors say.
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Over a fifth of New Yorkers live in poverty, according to new Census numbers. The city's poverty rate jumped from 20.1 percent in 2010 to 20.9 percent in 2011, which equals 74,000 people. That's the third year in a row the rate increased. The national average is 15.9 percent. The numbers are at odds with job recovery reports. Unemployment has also risen, despite job growth. The poverty rate is at its highest in over 10 years, and the income gap between the rich and poor continues to grow. Meanwhile, a new report finds that low-income smokers statewide spend 25 percentof their income on cigarettes.

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