Building Healthy Communities Conference Scholarship
July 6, 2016
A key goal of NYSHealth’s Building Healthy Communities priority area is to create healthy communities that lead to more New Yorkers of all ages eating healthy foods, being physically active, and having access to a range of programs that encourage healthy life choices.
Many organizations across the State are doing smart, innovative work that is relevant to NYSHealth’s work to improve health in New York neighborhoods. These organizations should be elevating their work and informing key stakeholders at conferences and other convenings in New York and nationally. Yet, because of a lack of resources, they are often unable to do so. To address this issue, NYSHealth awarded grants through its Sponsoring Conference Participation in Support of Healthy Communities Request for Proposals (RFP). Through this RFP, NYSHealth sponsored community-based organizations, health departments, and other low-resource organizations to attend and present at local, State, and national conferences related to building healthy communities. In July 2016, NYSHealth awarded Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (Neighborhood House) a grant to participate in this initiative.
With NYSHealth funding, the Neighborhood House provided training through its Teaching Kitchen program to New York nonprofits to help these organizations increase their clients’ and communities’ access to and use of fresh, healthy, and local food. The Teaching Kitchen is a course for nonprofit food service program directors, chefs, nutritionists, and lead kitchen staff who design menus, order supplies, provide nutrition oversight and programming, and prepare food. Its goal is to help participants assess their programs and implement cost-effective steps to significantly increase their low-income clients’ access to and use of fresh, healthy, and local food. Through this grant, eight nonprofit staff members attended the Teaching Kitchen program: two from BronxWorks, four from Community Access, and two from Henry Street Settlement. All program participants received a Teaching Kitchen guidebook; a manual for creating a farm-to-institution program; a site visit to assess and discuss all aspects of their program; three months of technical support; and ongoing access to new materials and resources produced by the Teaching Kitchen.