As the spring semester draws to a close, the NYC Food Policy Center has continued to listen to and learn from our community partners and collaborators. Moving forward into the summer we plan to continue our efforts to foster community participation to inform meaningful policy discussion citywide.
This spring marks the completion of the first ever East Harlem Research Action workshop, taught by co-directors Nicholas Freudenberg and Janet Poppendieck. This course brought together students, community advocates and local nonprofit organizations to learn about food system issues in East Harlem and other low-income communities and collaborate on solutions to the challenges of food insecurity and diet-related disease. Upon completion of the course, Center staff will work with students and community partners to take action on the problems they have investigated.
In staff news, we congratulate Center co-director Jan Poppendieck on the updated re-release of her 1986 book, Breadlines Knee-Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression (University of California Press, 2014). Read about it on Marion Nestle’s blog, Food Politics.
On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, we hosted our third Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar of 2014 at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College on the topic of “Growing a Public Food Sector in New York City.” Pamela Koch, Executive Director, The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University; Simone Herbin, School Food Associate, Brooklyn Food Coalition and Nancy Easton, Co-founder and Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools, presented on the importance of this upcoming legislation and what is currently being done to advance the priorities of key stakeholders. In case you missed it, resources and a video are available here.
Our next and last breakfast seminar of spring 2014, “Getting to Yes on Salt: How to Translate Conflicting Evidence into Public Health Policy” will be held Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the Roosevelt House. Nicholas Freudenberg will moderate a panel discussion that seeks to find common ground for action in the ongoing debate on salt. Panelists will include Dr. Thomas Farley, Former Commissioner of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Joan M Tisch Fellow for Public Health at the Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy at Hunter College and Dr. Sandro Galea, Gelman Professor and Chair Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. RSVP here.
The Center continues to work to build community partnerships with local East Harlem organizations, learning from the work being done and looking for collaborative opportunities. We invite groups based or working in East Harlem around food related programs to discuss the formation of a Campaign for Healthy Food in East Harlem. The purpose of these discussions is to learn about different groups food efforts in the community and share what the Center is learning about this work in East Harlem. We welcome contact with any groups interested in collaborating, exchanging ideas and discussing the formation of the Campaign. For more information, please contact Diana Johnson, Director of Community Projects at [email protected].
We look forward to a productive summer. Stay in touch for updates on our fall program of events!