Spring may seem endlessly far away, but here at Hunter College the spring semester is in full swing. The NYC Food Policy Center has been actively planning events, putting the finishing touches on our upcoming report, and working to engage with our partners on various initiatives.
Coming up on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, we’ll host our first Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar of 2014 at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Panelists representing city government, academia, and para-public entities who interact with city agencies in providing these meals to New Yorkers will discuss the innovations, challenges and opportunities for growth in NYC’s institutional meals system, what has been called the “Public Plate.” Some seats remain; please RSVP to this free event here
In conjunction with this breakfast seminar, we’re pleased to announce the release of our latest report, The Public Plate In New York City: A Guide to Institutional Meals– available for download free here on our website. This report examines the health and economic impact of the more than 260 million meals the city serves each year in public schools, public child care and senior citizen programs, homeless shelters, jails, public hospitals, and other locations. Over the last decade much has been done to improve this system; the report will suggest specific ways and areas in which the next Mayoral administration can further improve institutional food.
In other Center news, co-directors Dr. Nicholas Freudenberg and Dr. Janet Poppendieck, along with CUNY School of Public Health students, community advocates and local non-profit organizations, have embarked on the spring 2014 East Harlem Research Action Workshop, taught at our East Harlem campus. Together, this diverse group is learning about food systems issues in East Harlem and other low-income communities and collaborating on solutions to the challenges of food insecurity and diet-related disease affecting the most vulnerable populations in our city.
The New York City Food Policy Center is growing! We’ve welcomed Diana Johnson, Director of Community Projects, to our team. Diana has experience developing, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs in the community. She has worked extensively in elementary schools to promote evidence-based nutrition education particularly in the South Bronx. She holds a Masters of Arts in Health Education and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. In addition, we’ve taken on two new interns to assist in our LISC NYC program evaluations.
As part of our work with the NYC Food Forum, we have partnered with other food-active organizations that collectively support a better food future for New York City, eager to engage with the new mayoral administration and New York City Council in our five priority areas: hunger, healthy food, school food, food economy and food governance. Support the Forum or become a member: Sign on to the primer, our guiding document available here.
There is much more to come this year and we are excited to continue building the partnerships that will make substantive change – in issues of food, health, economic and environment – possible for New York City.