The Partnership for a Healthier Manhattan at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It’s a lengthy title but we are part of a larger citywide initiative, “The Partnership for a Healthier NYC.” The overarching goal of the Partnership is to significantly reduce chronic disease in New York City—for everyone—by supporting proven, community-level efforts, to change the environments in which people make decisions that impact their health. We do this through coalition-based work around healthy eating, active living and tobacco free living.
Tell us specifically about the food-related work you do or services you provide.
Our food-related work has a clear focus: to increase the number of people in Manhattan with access to environments with healthy food and beverages. Though it is a specific focus, it has lent itself to a wide variety of creative, coalition-based projects around healthy eating and increasing water consumption. Some highlights include:
- Collaborating with partners to develop an Urban Agriculture Toolkit for Manhattan (in development)
- Partnering with a local school to replace decrepit water fountains with “water jets” to help increase water consumption
- Establishing the “Healthy Food for Upper Manhattan” workgroup (but more on that later!)
- Working with grocery stores in East Harlem to address quality/availability of healthy foods
- Helping organizations adopt “healthy meetings pledge”, where food served in meetings meet NYC nutritional guidelines
Tell us about a recent challenge you have encountered in your food-related work.
One thing that we’ve really struggled with is working with grocery stores to change stocking practices and environment of the store. You have to understand from the manager’s perspective; they are often getting placement payments to put unhealthy food and beverages in key parts of the store. It’s hard to compete with these large corporations, when we don’t have the monetary resources and capacity to compete. The key is finding a manager that values health—and believes change can be good! For profit and for health.
Any exciting new events or projects?
We are very proud to be partners with SCAN New York and the Food Policy Center on the newly formed workgroup “Healthy Food for Upper Manhattan.” The impetus for the group was to create a space specifically focused on healthy food in our geography where we can share, collaborate and strengthen the great work already being done. We held our inaugural meeting on April 20th, with lively discussion and great participation from groups across the board. Some interesting topics that came up included: crime/safety/youth and food, seniors and food, and the future of farmers markets. Our next meeting is June 15th, 12-1:30 PM, where we will lay the foundation for our 5-10 year goals for the “foodscape” of Upper Manhattan.
Main Office Address: 1425 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029
How Many Full-Time Staff: 2
How Many Volunteers: 2-3, depending on the season!
Areas you serve: All of Manhattan, with a focus on communities with the highest health disparities
Founding Date: 2011
Founded by: Center for Health Equity and Community Engaged Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai