Increasing Food Access through Policy and Advocacy
The Healthy Food Retail Networking Group (HFRNG) is a citywide collaboration of more than 40 organizations working to coordinate efforts of healthy food retail practitioners. Members advocate for an increased access to healthy foods at brick and mortar food retail venues across NYC. Throughout the year, the HFRNG provides practitioners and advocates opportunities to meet, share, and learn at events such as Fresh Food Retail Summits, Quarterly Meetings and through communications to those working in the field.
In February the HFRNG held its February 2015 quarterly meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to better understand the NYC food-access policy landscape in order to ignite conversation and identify priority areas for where the group and its new Advocacy Committee should focus in the year to come. This topic was chosen in response to HFRNG member interest to think about how the group’s network of organizations can change the NYC food retail environment given what we know about the needs and challenges of small businesses in this area. Following the panel, small groups formed to brainstorm potential areas of focus for the Advocacy Committee for 2015.
- Molly Hartman, Senior Advisor for Food Policy, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Download Molly Hartman’s presentation>>
- Nick Freudenberg, Faculty Director, NYC Food Policy Center. Download Nick Freudenberg’s presentation>>
- Jon Stepanian, President & CEO, Community Solidarity, Inc. Download Jon Stepanian’s presentation>>
Fresh Food Retail Summit Summary Report
The second New York City Fresh Food Retail Summit was hosted and organized by the Healthy Food Retail Networking Group on November 14, 2014. Center Co-Director Janet Poppendieck gave opening remarks. Whereas the 2013 summit focused on networking and gathering, the 2014 summit focused on the business perspective of selling healthy foods and included representatives from grocery distribution, bodegas, supermarkets, and the City Council. More than 100 individuals from organizations operating citywide attended the full-day event comprised of insightful presentations, a lively panel discussion, and afternoon break-out sessions.
As a next step, the Healthy Food Retail Networking Group will 1) improve upon communication platforms though the distribution of an e-newsletter; 2) welcome the addition of a new Advocacy Committee; and 3) continue to host quarterly meetings.
The Healthy Food Retail Networking Group is always looking to collaborate with new organizations that are committed to supporting increased access to healthy foods at brick and mortar food retail venues in NYC. If you are interested in joining our collaboration or in providing funding, please contact healthyfoodretailNYC@gmail.com.