New Yankee Stadium Helps Lift Bronx to Poorest, Hungriest Place in America

Our own Neil deMause, who literally wrote the book on the subject, has repeatedly tried to show what a boondoggle stadium-building can be for cities and neighborhoods.

Here's new evidence of what the new Yankee Stadium has brought to The Bronx. Not only is the borough home to one of the poorest congressional districts in America -- the home of the new, heavily-subsidized stadium and the current World Champs can also boast that their 'hood is also the hungriest Congressional district in the nation!

As of the last census, in 2000, the 16th Congressional District was the poorest in the nation, with 42.2 percent of residents living below the poverty line. Now, nearly a decade later, a new Gallup poll finds that more than 36 percent of people in the 16th have reported that there are times when they have not had money to buy food for themselves or their family.

This compares to a hunger rate of "just" 16.5 percent in the greater New York/New Jersey/Long Island area.

The Gallup poll from which this finding comes was begun at the beginning of last year, so economic relief from all the good jobs and economic activity spurred by opening the new Yankees stadium may not have been included. But wait! The Daily News also offers this telling metric of how well the boondoggle is floating The Bronx's boat: City Harvest says that while only 381,364 Bronx residents visited "emergency food programs" in the third quarter of 2008, in the third quarter of this year -- at the height of the first season in the new park -- that number had increased by 17 percent, to 445,900 people.

The News also reports that "60% of Bronx agencies are experiencing an increase in visits to their programs versus a year ago, and more than half (53%) are seeing more children, with 15% seeing double the number of children."

And Mayor Bloomberg wonders why the Bronx wasn't begging for the Armory Mall! Who needs a job-killing "living wage," when large, city-subsidized projects will raise the tide for everyone?

There's also a Atlantic Yards harbinger in the News story: Brooklyn is home to the 6th hungriest Congressional district in America. You're in sixth place now, Brooklyn, but just wait! When you get the Nets Arena, maybe you'll compete with the home of the Bronx Bombers for the chance to become number one in poverty and hunger. Photo (cc) wfyurasako.

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