We caught up with Cappy Collins, Executive Director of Nullary Care, Inc, about Cada Paso, a local walking program that combines education, community engagement, physical activity, and more.
Cada Paso is a walking program that connects families with local health resources in East Harlem (EH). Although EH is burdened with many poor health outcomes, it has a multitude of health resources within the two square miles of the neighborhood. On each walk, volunteer health providers discuss a health topic of the families’ choosing before walking to a local resource to learn more. For example, on the nutrition walk, parents learn about avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages and foods, in favor of buying fresh produce; we pair that knowledge with walking to a farmers market to spend Health Bucks on the spot. We endeavor to give families control of their own health.
Tell us about your food-related work and services.
Regardless of the health topic of the day, we always emphasize healthy eating by providing apples and bananas to eat along the way. We also reward children with stickers for bringing their reusable water bottles filled with NYC’s finest tap water. Along the walk we frequently visit a local community garden to let parents know they can join and grow their own produce, or simply stop by and visit whenever the garden is open. Some of our EH favorites are the Herb Garden, Pleasant Village, Rodale, Jackie Robinson, and Chenchita’s.
Tell us about a recent success you’ve had with your food-related work.
We were especially pleased to partner with Chenchita’s Garden for one of farmers market walks this year. Along with using Health Bucks to buy a variety of produce, we had a cooking demonstration and tour of the foods grown in the garden itself. Plus, Chenchita’s offers a lot for visitors of all ages: gardening, face painting, story time with free book giveaway, knitting and more. Perhaps the best enjoyed part of the day was roasting some of the corn we bought right there in the garden. You can see the fun here.
Tell us about a recent challenge you have encountered in your food-related work.
Community gardens are important for the quality of life in East Harlem: they provide space to grow food, compost food waste, recreate, hold public meetings, and conduct educational and cultural events. We hope that the gardens will survive the rezoning initiative underway.
Any exciting new events or projects?
We’re concluding our second season of Cada Paso in November and we’re very excited to start planning for an even bigger and better third season in the new year. All are welcome to join the walks or help us develop the program. Visit www.cadapaso.us to learn more!
Core: (List of core programs): Cada Paso; Cyclopedia
Main Office Address: Little Sisters of the Assumption, 333 E 115th St, New York, NY 10029
How Many Full-Time Staff: 1
How Many Volunteers: 6
Areas you serve: East Harlem
Founding Date: 2014
Founded by: Cappy Collins, MD, MPH