Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Nourishing our Community: A Food & Nutrition Education Project in the Bronx

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 16, 2006








The South Bronx has more obese residents than elsewhere in New York City—27% of its residents, compared to 20% of New Yorkers citywide—according to a 2006 a Federal community survey.

Contributing to the high rates of obesity and diabetes are unhealthy eating habits, which result in part from a lack of opportunities for acquiring fresh produce. The project sought to provide nutrition information and healthy food options for people living in an impoverished urban area.

Nearly 27% of Bronx residents are obese, compared to 16% of residents citywide. Unhealthy eating habits result from lack of options for acquiring fresh produce and contribute to the area’s disproportionately high rates of chronic disease.

To address these community problems, this grant expanded Phipps Community Development Corporation’s pioneering community garden, which is used to train local residents in the areas of nutrition, environmental awareness, and stress management. The Phipps project used the NYHealth grant to expand its activities by adding three components: nutrition education, organic gardening, and stress management. Major program activities included: (1) enhancing the garden in the late winter and early spring with a wheelchair-accessible pathway and children’s garden; (2) training through horticulture workshops in the spring and workshops on food uses, such as canning, freezing, and pickling in the fall; and (3) harvesting and distributing food from the garden at the weekly farmers’ market in the summer.

In 1995, Phipps transformed a two-acre garbage-strewn lot in West Farms, a very poor section of the Bronx where 38% of families live in poverty, into a thriving community garden where the area’s residents grow their own produce. The Phipps Community Development Corporation has long been active in low-income housing development and a wide range of community development activities in New York City.