Building Healthy Communities NYC
Building Healthy Communities
September 29, 2020
Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYSHealth has supported six communities across the State in implementing neighborhood-level approaches to increase access to healthy, affordable food and to improve the built environment to make physical activity easier.
In each neighborhood, community convener organizations have spearheaded and acted as the main coordinators for the work, assembling and mobilizing partner coalitions to achieve shared goals. As a result of these efforts, nearly half a million New Yorkers in these neighborhoods have better opportunities to lead healthier lives. As this initiative enters its final year of programming, it is vital that community convener grantees and their partners are prepared to grow and sustain their work at the end of the grant cycle. In 2020, NYSHealth awarded the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City a grant to help sustain fresh food access and vibrant public spaces in the neighborhoods of East Harlem and Brownsville.
Under this grant, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will work with residents and community leaders to ensure they can continue to advocate for food security and sovereignty and activation of public spaces in their neighborhoods. The Fund will help both East Harlem and Brownsville map and assess existing fresh food resources and gaps. New partnerships will be piloted to bolster food justice efforts and help low-income residents and youth build on local agricultural efforts like community gardens. The Fund will also continue to support the expansion of healthy nutrition and meal preparation programs and education for youth. To support community activation of public spaces, mini-grants will be offered to local groups to envision and lead their own project ideas for parks, streets, plazas, and gardens. Finally, the Fund will cultivate and connect community leadership in Brownsville and East Harlem to design, drive, and advocate for projects that address isolation, safety/trust issues, and long-term inequities created by racism and disinvestment in these neighborhoods