Past Priority Area: Building Healthy Communities
Where we live affects our health in multiple and complex ways. Poor health indicators are concentrated in neighborhoods that are most disadvantaged by society’s social, economic, and housing inequities. Communities that have been neglected, rural communities, and communities of color face a disproportionately high burden of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes.
NYHealth worked to improve neighborhood health by (1) expanding access to and demand for nutritious foods and (2) expanding access to safe places where residents can be more physically active. Improving these conditions can play a role in reducing neighborhood-level health disparities.
Healthy, Affordable Food and Physical Activity
NYHealth partnered with community leaders in six neighborhoods across New York State to create healthier communities. These convening bodies worked with community-based organizations, government agencies, and foundations across multiple sectors on a range of activities to improve neighborhood health in Clinton County; Brownsville, Brooklyn; East Harlem, Manhattan; Near Westside, Syracuse; North End, Niagara Falls; and Lower East Side, Manhattan.
From 2015 through the end of 2020, NYHealth invested more than $20 million in this initiative and leveraged an additional $181 million in funding for the six neighborhoods—helping nearly half a million New Yorkers have greater access to healthy, affordable food and safe places to be physically active. The New York Community Trust joined NYHealth in a complementary initiative to invest in three neighborhoods in the South Bronx.
Learn more about the impact of the Building Healthy Communities program.
Read two reports that delve into NYHealth’s goals and strategies for this initiative and the resulting outcomes within the six neighborhoods.
Grantmaking in the Building Healthy Communities program closed at the end of 2020. We have launched our new Healthy Food, Healthy Lives program. This new program’s overarching goal is to connect New Yorkers with the food they need to thrive. To achieve this goal, we focus on four strategies: (1) support, more equitable healthy food systems planning and capacity-building; (2) maximize nutrition benefit programs; (3) support healthier, culturally responsive food in public institutions; and (4) promote Food Is Medicine interventions.
Be sure to sign up to receive announcements about the Healthy Food, Healthy Lives program, including future funding opportunities.