This Parent-Led Advocacy Group is Working to Change NYC School Food

by Deirdre Appel
Part of the Community Spotlight Series

Name: NYC Healthy Food School Alliance

What They Do: The NYC Healthy School Food Alliance, founded by public school parent/food writer Andrea Strong, is a grass-roots parent-fueled initiative aimed at making school food healthier. Working with the office of Borough President Eric Adams, they are advocating for holistic school food reform.

How They Do It: NYC Healthy Food School Alliance lobbies politicians and engages with parents, chefs, nonprofits and education leaders to promote its vision of reimagining how the city feeds its children and advocate for more nutritious school food. The proposed changes can be put into four buckets: change the food (offer real food made by real people on every plate); change the mindset (provide students with nutritional and culinary education to increase their understanding of the importance of healthy food); grow the food (fund school gardens so kids can have a greater connection with how their food is grown); and increase the time (ensure kids have at least 30 minutes for lunch).

The Alliances organizes campaigns and events to further support and raise awareness of the importance of this issue. They also offer a range of resources on their website, including food fact sheets, a how-to guide for bringing wellness programs to a school, and sample letters citizens can use to contact their elected officials.

Mission: Change a child’s diet, change their world

Latest project/campaign: While the NYC Healthy Food Alliance has several ongoing campaigns to achieve healthier school foods, their latest initiative focuses on bringing nutrition education to every grade. To achieve this goal, they have partnered with the Laurie M. Tisch Center’s Food-Ed Working Group which is lobbying for hands-on nutrition education in every NYC public elementary school.

Major Funding: N/A (Run by grassroots volunteers)

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Revenue: None

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The NYC Healthy School Food Alliance amplifies the voices of parents and citizens who are concerned about the foods served in schools. On Sunday, June 9th at 11AM, the Alliance, alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, parents, supportive elected officials, nonprofit leaders, chefs and other like-minded health foodies, will march from the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall across the Brooklyn Bridge to the steps of City Hall, where  they will rally for better, healthier food in schools.

FACT SHEET

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Core Programs: Advocacy and campaigning

Number of staff: Volunteers only

Number of volunteers: 350

Areas served: New York City

Year Started: 2018

Director/Founder: Andrea Strong

Contact Information: [email protected]

Website:  https://www.nychealthyschoolfoodalliance.com

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