Healthy Food and Other Relief Services for Youth and Families
September 29, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYHealth awarded The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) a grant to provide emergency food and relief services to youth and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this grant, Bro/Sis provided support and immediate assistance to youth and their families, with a focus on communities of color that had been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It provided both in-person and online programming focused on furthering food justice, promoting sustainability in New York City communities, and spurring activism and advocacy for greater food access in neighborhoods. It managed its community garden and youth farmers markets to provide residents with fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Additionally, Bro/Sis connected youth and their families to mental health counseling, meals, laptops to encourage remote learning, and direct financial assistance. It also helped youth to acquire and hone their digital skills through telecommunications and related software such as Google Suite and Zoom, as well as offered online advocacy programming to help young people navigate challenges around economic poverty, gender inequality, and structural racism in their communities.