public health

NYC Food Pledge and Food Charter

by Lexi Van de Walle, The Lighthearted Locavore 

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's Office has planned the release of a New York City Food Pledge and Food Charter and signing campaign. The campaign will be launched on Friday, December 4th and is timed to coincide with the upcoming NYC Food and Climate Change Summit being held a week later. Over the past year, a committee of food advocates from around the City, including several Food Systems NYC Network members, has worked closely with the Borough President's Food Policy team to draft a framework for a City-wide food sustainability plan. The objective for the Pledge and Charter is to increase individual consciousness about food issues across all communities around the City and help create the public policy that is needed to ensure a stronger and more just food system in the five boroughs. The Charter addresses food access, health, economic and environmental issues, and defines the values and principles from which the City government and individual City Agencies can draft their long-term food sustainability plans. The Food Systems Network Communications Team will keep the network informed. Please be sure to read the NYC Food Charter and sign the NYC Food Pledge. And, ask your colleagues to sign on also.



Public Advocate Candidates Answer FSNYC Questions On Food And Health

by Mark Foggin 

Last month, FSNYC decided it was time to get more involved on the political side of policymaking. For the first time, we issued a questionnaire to the public advocate candidate running in a contested primary on Tuesday, September 15. (Special thanks to the Communications and Policy Committees of the Network for developing it!) We were able to reach four of the five Democratic candidates running for public advocate and heard back from each. The questionnaire and the candidates’ verbatim responses can be found here.

As a 501(c)3 organization, FSNYC cannot endorse any candidates, nor editorialize on the candidates’ responses in the context of an election. However, we are presenting this information to the Network so that you can be guided by it when making decisions about for whom you will vote. If you have a platform for sharing your opinion on these responses, we encourage you to use it to engage your stakeholders and readers in a discussion.

The Healthy Bodegas Initiative: An Interview With Donya Williams

Posted by Kerry Trueman, Eating Liberally

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Healthy Bodegas program seeks to make healthier food choices available in communities where fresh produce, whole grains, and low fat dairy products can be hard (or impossible) to find. Donya Williams, Program Coordinator for the Healthy Bodegas initiative, chatted with Kerry Trueman about the twin challenges of encouraging shopkeepers to stock more wholesome foods, and enticing customers to buy them. KT: What was the genesis of the Healthy Bodegas initiative? DW: There was some research done at the district public health offices, looking at food retail establishments in Harlem and Brooklyn. And through this research, they found that bodegas were the most common food stores in these neighborhoods. So, based on that, they did a pilot program trying to get bodegas to increase their stock of low-fat milk and fresh produce, which would provide a lot more people with access to healthy food.


Purchasing Power for Farmers’ market Produce Increases Significantly For New York State’s Women and Children Enrolled in WIC

Posted by Lexi Van de Walle

New York State is leading the way in improving access to fresh, locally grown and nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables for low-income mothers and their children. Beginning July 1st, New York is the first of hopefully many states to allow pregnant women and mothers who are enrolled in the Women’s Infants and Children’s Supplemental Nutrition (WIC) program to use their monthly checks at farmers’ markets to buy eligible fruits and vegetables.

Until last month, when Governor David Patterson announced the addition of farmers’ markets as an approved outlet for WIC mothers to add to their shopping routine, a WIC participant living in New York could only buy locally grown produce if either their supermarket sold locally grown fruits and vegetables or she received one of the $24 Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons good from June-November from their local New York WIC agency.

Stringer Unveils Latest Strategy To Promote Healthy Food

Youth Leadership: An Interview with Akeem Hyland

Posted by Lynn Fredricks, FamilyCook Productions Beginning early February 2009, NYC Brooklyn high school senior Akeem Hyland attended semi-monthly youth planning meetings of the NYC Food & Fitness Partnership [insert live link] for the first NYC Youth Forum & Expo [insert live link] on April 16th.  There, Akeem helped lead a workshop and co-facilitated the special presentation: “Teen Iron Chef: The Final Battle.”  The NYC Youth Forum was a very empowering day for the over 400 youth and their mentors who participated. Reflecting on his demonstrated commitment to sharing his new knowledge about food, cooking and healthy lifestyles, Akeem shares his reflections on his role as a youth leader in our greater NYC community.

LF: Why do you think you have become so passionate about teaching others about food justice, cooking and making healthy food choices?

Well, not having good food available in my neighborhood, so that neither my family nor friends  have healthy choices makes me want to help people in the same predicament is me.  I recommend they reach out and go further than the local bodega, and quit fast food and start active living and eating healthier food.  It tastes really good and it will improve your health.

LF: What do you think it is going to take to get other young people to be as passionate and committed to their health?

The Food Landscape in New York’s Forgotten Borough

Posted by Jonna McKone, City Harvest

Staten Island is New York’s often forgotten borough when it comes to progressive food programs aimed to cut across class and neighborhood lines. Borough representatives and residents are rarely integrated in city-wide conferences, events, and policy development. This exclusion is due in part to Staten Island’s unique geography, low overall population density, limited public transit system, and unfamiliar neighborhood characteristics. Thus programming and initiatives that might apply to other New York City neighborhoods are rarely extended to the borough.

Despite the obstacles, City Harvest is currently supporting the development of community-based food projects in Staten Island’s North Shore, specifically the under-served communities of Stapleton and Park Hill, which may seem surprising in contrast to the stereotypical image of Staten Island as a homogenous, suburban borough. These neighborhoods, however, are served by only a small number of food retailers and supermarkets that are particularly difficult to access on a regular basis1, which negatively influences residents’ food purchasing habits. Citizens rely primarily on public buses with limited routes and schedules that exacerbate what community members term “isolationism” – the reluctance to travel even a short distance. Thirty-three percent of individuals living in zip code 10304, one of the lowest income areas in the borough, do not have a car, and in some census tracts the figure approaches 60 percent. Additionally, there is only one Greenmarket serving these neighborhoods and the entire borough of half a million people. The North Shore also supports only a handful of public community gardens.

NYCNEN-Multicultural and Proactive Nutrition Education In Diabetes Prevention and Care

  Multicultural and Proactive Nutrition Education

Policy Committee Meeting: Why the Child Nutrition Reauthorization is important to New York City

The April 14th meeting of the FSNYC Policy Committee, facilitated by Kristen Mancinelli, City Harvest, will cover an important upcoming federal legislation, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), and focus on ways to engage NYC groups to advocate for their priorities in this legislation. Join us, Tuesday, April 14th,  2:15-3:15, immediately following the Open Networking Meeting at Citizens Committee for NYC, 305 7th Ave, 15th floor, NY NY.

Why the Child Nutrition Reauthorization is important to New York City:

Later this year the federal government will reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act (CNA). This legislation sets rules and funding levels for the major school-based nutrition programs, including the School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Summer Food Service Program. New York City has much to gain from improvements to and increased funding for programs in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR). These programs collectively bring over $350 million into New York City each year and provide food to over 860,000 NYC schoolchildren every day.

Other federal programs authorized under the CNA, such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the WIC program for women, infants and children, bring upwards of $500 million in federal funding to New York State each year, much of that going to recipients under five years old in New York City.

Within the CNR there is an opportunity to:

•    Increase healthy food access and reduce child hunger
•    Support the nutritional health of the city’s most vulnerable populations
•    Modernize infrastructure and reduce energy use and pollution
•    Stimulate economic activity and support the regional economy

Antonin Kratochvil: In America

Antonin Kratochvil: In America
The Half King
505 W 23RD ST
New York, NY
Curated by Song Chong


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