The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has launched a new ad campaign to encourage New Yorkers to make healthy choices for snacks on the go. Already spotted at bus stops, check cashing locations and on pole banners throughout the city, the new “Take Me With You” ad campaign features apples, bananas, and carrot sticks as easy, affordable ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your daily routine.
“Eating well is important for good health, and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can help prevent chronic disease, such as heart disease,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “We want to encourage everyone to make healthy choices, and we continue to take steps to ensure that fresh produce is an accessible and affordable option for all New Yorkers.”
It’s well understood that eating a healthful diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with good health, but access can vary widely across the city. The Department of Health found that despite nearly 80% of New Yorkers living within a 10 minute walk of fresh produce, residents who lived in neighborhoods with high obesity rates were further from a store selling fresh fruit and vegetables compared to those neighborhoods with low obesity rates. The produce in neighborhoods with high obesity rates was less likely to be perceived as excellent compared to low obesity neighborhoods.
This campaign builds upon the efforts made by the Health Department to increase access to fruit and vegetables throughout New York City, including Health Bucks, coupons for low-income New Yorkers that can be used to purchase produce at every farmers’ market in New York City, and Green Carts, which sell whole fresh fruits and vegetables in high-need neighborhoods.
New Yorkers can text “SoGood” to 877877 to find a nearby farmers’ market. SNAP benefits are accepted at most markets, and for every $5 spent with SNAP customers receive a $2 Health Buck coupon to spend on fresh produce. Click here to find a farmers’ market in your neighborhood.
New data on Green Carts released by the Department of Health shoes that these carts have increased availability of fresh produce in neighborhoods where fresh produce consumption was lowest. Green Carts have also contributed to a growth in fruit and vegetable availability at other neighborhood food retail outlets such as corner stores/bodegas.