Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Building Community Power to Advance Food Equity and Justice

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

November 23, 2021






Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that satisfies their dietary needs and food preferences.

The link between food and health is clear. Nutritious food can act as medicine, helping to prevent and manage disease. But too much food, too little food, food that is not nutritious, or food that is not culturally appropriate can have serious health consequences. NYHealth’s Healthy Food, Healthy Lives priority area works at the intersection of health and food to improve access to healthy and affordable foods, reduce food insecurity, and promote equity. To help leverage new and existing opportunities that promote promising policies and scale best practices, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), “Advancing Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives.” Through this RFP, NYHealth is supporting organizations across New York State working to improve food and nutrition quality; increase access to healthy and affordable food; and grow participation in food benefit and nutrition incentive programs. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Equity Advocates a grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, Equity Advocates developed a plan for a grassroots-driven New York City Food Policy Council. Food policy councils were a proven mechanism for identifying local challenges and opportunities to securing healthy, affordable food; coordinating municipal initiatives; and providing those most affected by food inequality with an organized way to influence policy. Equity Advocates created a committee within the NYC Food Policy Alliance, a group of more than 40 food system stakeholders. Through the committee, Equity Advocates conducted outreach to neighborhood-based food groups, coordinated New York City borough-based listening sessions, and developed a plan from these sessions. The plan included recommendations for how to structure an effective, sustainable food policy council in New York City.

NYHealth is also supporting complementary food planning initiatives with Adirondack Health InstituteBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Good Food Buffalo CoalitionCommon Ground Health, and Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative.

See a full list of grantees participating in this initiative.