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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kosher Supermarket gets 2 million dollar tax break!  How come that "separation of church and state" nonsense never applies to Jews?

Politically-connected supermarket sparks $2M food fight when granted funds for 'food desert' nabes

A politically connected Brooklyn supermarket is getting a $2 million tax break intended for neighborhoods desperate for grocery stores - even though it's got plenty of competition.

Moisha's Kosher Discount Supermarket is to receive $1.93 million to double its size on Avenue M in Midwood.

The money comes from the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health program - which targets neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn, northern Manhattan, the South Bronx and other neighborhoods where fresh food is hard to find.

Even though Moisha's is outside the target zone, city officials say the neighborhood counts as "underserved."

The Daily News counted 10 markets within 5 blocks of the store, all selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

Owners Moisha and Barry Binik and their families have doled out at least $41,690 in contributions to local pols in the last decade.

"This is not an underserved neighborhood," said Louie Mancuso, 60, who lives across the street. "That's a fraud."

Binik said even though there are other groceries in the area, he insisted they're too far for some customers to walk - and more expensive.

"The community loves us. They want us to expand," he said. "We can't afford this without some help."

City officials pointed to a study showing the neighborhood had "moderate need" for supermarkets, and fewer markets per person than the city average.

"That's an abuse of the program," countered City Councilman Charles Barron (D-East New York). "That [money] is supposed to come into our area so we have fresh produce."

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