Fresh Foods for Healthier Neighborhoods in Syracuse

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded Food Access Healthy Neighborhoods Now (FAHNN) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, FAHNN will advocate for the return of a full-service grocery store and continue its weekly, year-round farmers market to provide necessary food access in the absence of a full-service grocery store on the southside of Syracuse. FAHNN will produce and distribute marketing and outreach materials to advertise farmers market hours and products; offer customers nutrition incentives; and provide stipends to market supervisors 

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system. 

Building Food Infrastructure to Support Queer, Trans, and BIPOC-led Farms

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded Rock Steady Farm (RSF) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, RSF will assist queer, trans, and BIPOC (QTBIPOC)-led farms to procure fresh produce and products throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley. New farmers often lack the infrastructure to pursue purchasing contracts from large public institutions or wholesale orders. To address this challenge, RSF will leverage its logistical and transportation infrastructure; high demand for its produce in the New York City area; and community-based relationships to support QTBIPOC-led farms. It will also coordinate with food hub cooperative Brooklyn Packers and the Northeast Farmers of Color Network, a network of queer, trans, and BIPOC farmers and stakeholders, to provide support to other farms interested in reaching the New York City market with their products. RSF will also supplement its weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with produce and products from small farms, and it will strengthen its partnerships with project collaborators to coordinate in-person and virtual convenings with key farmers, distribution partners, and service providers.  

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system. 

 

 

Comida Para La Gente – Supporting Food Access for Immigrant Communities

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded Columbia County Sanctuary Movement (CCSM) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, CCSM will expand and formalize its Comida Para La Gente (CPLG) food justice program to enhance the health and nourishment of immigrant communities in upstate New York. It will develop contracts and procurement processes with local farms to enable them to plan crops; guarantee income ahead of production season; and provide more culturally relevant, locally-sourced produce in CPLG’s weekly meals. CCSM will work to connect farms with local schools, hospitals, and larger institutions. CCSM will also establish a Food Justice Advisory Committee, comprising stakeholders with expertise and lived experience, to help community members develop long term partnerships and ensure that each farm’s crop planning, meal planning, and contract negotiations align with community needs.  

 

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system. 

 

 

Healthy Food Access to Support Maternal Health

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, BWB will expand and formalize its Food Is Medicine program to support maternal physical and mental health through nutritional, farm-fresh foods. BWB will partner with Brooklyn Packers, a food hub cooperative, to distribute farm-fresh foods and expand its reach into New York City. It will use its Sistas Mobile Van to expand community outreach methods and distribute fresh bags of produce and other food items that support maternal and post-partum health. BWB will also coordinate registered dietitians, integrative nutrition coaches, and in-house educators to provide workshops, cooking demonstrations, and educational community events focused on improving maternal and reproductive health outcomes.  

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system. 

Increasing Access to Locally Grown Produce in Red Hook

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, RHI will partner with New York University (NYU) Family Health Centers and the Red Hook Community Health Network (RHCHN) to pilot the Red Hook Food Rx Program. The program will increase Red Hook community members’ ability to purchase healthy, nutrient-rich meals for themselves and their families while leveraging the local resources of a community-led urban farm. RHCHN will distribute weekly $25 coupons to 30 Red Hook individuals or families experiencing food insecurity to redeem for fresh vegetables, fruit, and eggs at RHI’s weekly farm stand. Outreach staff will screen interested individuals or families and enroll eligible participants. 

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system. 

 

Increasing Awareness of Medical Benefits for Purchasing Healthy Food

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded Harvest Home Farmer’s Market (Harvest Home) a grant to participate in this initiative. 

Under this grant, Harvest Home will create awareness of an underused medical insurance benefit for Medicare and Medicaid recipients to receive farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Most medical insurance companies offer dual Medicare and Medicaid recipients a monthly cash allotment, between $100 and $250 per month, to enrolled participants for over-the-counter (OTC) purchases of health-related items. However, many eligible people—especially seniors with limited English proficiency and residents of underserved communities—are unaware that OTC benefits can be used to purchase food. Harvest Home is the only farmers market operator in the State that accepts OTC benefits. Harvest Home will launch a marketing campaign to promote the use of OTC benefits at its 14 farmers markets in New York City; collaborate with local pharmacies and other retailers to create greater awareness; and leverage its network with community partners and health care providers to connect participants to its OTC program. 

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system.

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