Strengthening Community Farming in Brownsville
Building Healthy Communities
March 26, 2021
Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYHealth has supported neighborhood-level approaches to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to activate spaces to encourage more physical activity.
To sustain the progress that has been made in these communities, it is important that neighborhood grantees have the tools and capacity they need to maintain and expand their initiatives and goals. Grantees have expressed a particular need for support in advocating for local policy change and solutions and effectively communicating their wins, goals, needs, and value. Strengthening these efforts will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the achievements and place-based work in each neighborhood. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Project EATS a grant to increase the efficiency and sustainability of its community farming program in Brownville, Brooklyn.
Under this grant, Project EATS implemented strategies to strengthen its community-based farm and food programs that make it easier for residents to afford and consume healthy food. Project EATS upgraded and implemented data systems that make it easier to identify and capture metrics about its finances, farm outputs, customer base, and sales. This information helped Project EATS develop and adopt strategies that improve its productivity and speak to the health needs of Brownsville residents. It also developed a business plan for a line of healthy, affordable prepared foods that are culturally appropriate and sold locally in the community.