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Commentary: Lessons from Evaluating Community Food Programs

Commentary: Lessons from Evaluating Community Food Programs

By Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

For the last five years, our Institute has been evaluating community food programs in 14 New York City neighborhoods. From my own participation and observation in these evaluation studies, I have come to appreciate both the positive and negative roles that evaluation can play in community food programs and also some of the dilemmas these efforts face. In this commentary, I describe some of the lessons from these experiences and raise some questions about evaluation for the food policy and food justice communities to consider. My goal is to help ensure that five years from now, we know more about what does and doesn't work to create healthier food environments in New York City. 

NYCHA Food Policy Innovations Forum Recap: Creating and Strengthening Opportunities Around Food for and by NYCHA Residents.

NYCHA Food Policy Innovations Forum Recap: Creating and Strengthening Opportunities Around Food for and by NYCHA Residents.

On February 23, 2017, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute held a forum bringing together representatives from research organizations and academia, non-profit community serving organizations and the New York City Housing Authority to discuss that agency's current and potential food innovations. These programs, ideas and questions apply creative and diverse solutions to integrate resident engagement with social and economic development as well as increase access to healthy food. The focus areas of this work are currently urban farms, healthy food entrepreneurship, and access to healthy food retail. The forum was moderated by the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute's deputy director, Craig Willingham.

School Breakfast at Half Century: A Look Back to Move Ahead

School Breakfast at Half Century: A Look Back to Move Ahead

Janet Poppendieck, activist, author, professor emerita at Hunter College, co-founder of the NYC Food Policy Center, senior faculty fellow at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, and WhyHunger Board Member, reflects on her decades of research and advocacy to promote the School Breakfast Program in light of its 50th anniversary.

Nourishing NYCHA: Food Policy as a Tool for Improving the Well-Being of New York City’s Public Housing Residents

Nourishing NYCHA: Food Policy as a Tool for Improving the Well-Being of  New York City’s Public Housing Residents

By Nevin Cohen, Nick Freudenberg, and Craig Willingham, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

In the last few years, NYCHA has attracted the attention of policy makers, developers, elected officials and activists seeking new ways to improve living conditions, enhance public safety, repair an aging infrastructure, encourage economic development and promote health in the city-within-a-city that New York’s public housing constitutes. In this policy brief, we consider another aspect of NYCHA:  the food its residents buy, prepare and eat and the role food plays in the health, environment and economy of the city’s NYCHA population.

Call for Members: NYC Youth Food Countermarketing Network

Call for Members: NYC Youth Food Countermarketing Network

Food countermarketing describes activities that seek to reduce the demand for unhealthy products by exposing corporate profit motives and undermining the marketing practices of sugary beverage, fast food, and other food companies. In the past countermarketing has played a key role in reducing tobacco use among young people. Last fall the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute brought together organizations and individuals from around New York City with interest in creating or expanding youth food countermarketing efforts.