City Council speaker Christine Quinn is questioning Bloomberg's decision to make food stamp applicants in the city get fingerprinted, calling out the practice as expensive and unnecessary. Statewide, where one in five people are on food stamps and 2.5 million people can't afford enough food, fingerprinting is not required, but in New York City it is, making the city one of only two areas in the country requiring fingerprinting (the other is in Arizona).

Bloomberg maintains that the main reason for fingerprinting is to reduce fraud, like that time four women stole $8 million in food stamps by assigning them to people who didn't exist. But Quinn says there's no evidence that the practice prevents fraud, and instead it "simply deters some New Yorkers from applying for food stamps" and costs the city needless cash. Quinn estimates that some 30,000 New Yorkers are not applying for food stamps because of the fingerprinting issue.

Since many of the city's applicants are minorities, says Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, fingerprinting creates a stigma around applying: “Poor people as if they’re basically criminals for trying to access a program to which they’re legally entitled," he told the Times, adding that the process is essentially an "electronic stop-and-frisk."

Quinn and Bronx Councilmember Annabel Palma are working on a bill to pressure Bloomberg to change the requirements. If the fingerprint requirement does get lifted, just think: more New Yorkers will have access to fresh, healthy food like organic kale, Japanese eggplant, and Taco Bell.