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The South Bronx and the Urban Food Systems Conundrum The Case for a Food Systems Curriculum.

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Presentation on theme: "The South Bronx and the Urban Food Systems Conundrum The Case for a Food Systems Curriculum."— Presentation transcript:

1 The South Bronx and the Urban Food Systems Conundrum The Case for a Food Systems Curriculum

2 While retail availability of wholesome and fresh food is fairly widespread in New York City, large swaths of the boroughs are underserved by traditional supermarkets and green grocers. At the same time, food wholesaling and manufacturing are increasingly clustered in some of the self-same neighborhoods that have been classified as “food deserts” by the Department of City Planning. So while the wholesale food sector continues to expand in the South Bronx and places like it, consumer access to the very food prepared, packaged, and wholesaled there has not followed suit. These circumstances present both an abiding irony and a complex challenge for urban communities The Urban Food Systems Challenge

3 The Urban Food Opportunity for Hostos: Proposed Pathways Become a leader in workforce development for the NYC food industry Develop expertise and intellectual leadership in urban food systems Closely align institutional objectives with community revitalization goals in the areas of food access and equity Connect urban food systems curriculum to health care reform’s emphasis on prevention of diet-mediated disease

4 Timeliness and Context The Hunts Point Terminal Market Cooperative opened in 1967 and is currently negotiating with City and State Authorities for a new $ 400 million home inside the Food Distribution Center The Terminal Market was joined by the Coop Market (meat & dairy wholesalers) in 1974 and the Fulton Fishmarket in 2003, making Hunts Point the world’s largest food distribution center The debate over the planned relocation of an on-line grocery delivery service to the Harlem River Yards in Port Morris has emerged as a classic policy struggle between the borough’s boosters of commercial development and its proponents of social equity and has also underscored the great and growing role of the food sector in The Bronx

5 Timeliness and Context, Cont’d Ongoing public health scholarship on the prevalence of diet-mediated disease in underserved communities lends urgency to the imperative of diversifying the local food economy and ensuring equitable access to fresh and wholesome food Rare policy alignment among City, State, and Federal decision-makers bolsters case-making by food equity advocates about the centrality of incentivizing grocers and supermarket operators to locate in underserved areas

6 Excerpted Interviews with Borough Stakeholders on Opportunities for Hostos in the Bronx Food Vertical The recommendations below are derived from conversations with Mario Bodden, Morrisania Revitalization Corporation; Kelly Moltzen, Institute for Family Health; Angela Fernandez, Office of Congressman Jose E. Serrano; Jessica Clemente, Nos Quedamos; and Heidi Hynes, La Canasta & The Mary Mitchell Center; and George Maroulis, General Manager, The New Fulton Fishmarket. Hostos should develop very practical food systems curriculum based loosely on NYU’s Food Studies Department (Moltzen) Hostos should create healthy bodega training and food handling certification initiatives for bodega operators—a “Bodegueros’ Institute” (Bodden) Hostos should design and implement incentives program for Hostos students and staff to shop at “healthy bodegas” run by graduates of training program (Moltzen) Hostos should provide training for “Greencart” operators and storage for NYC greencarts (Hynes) Hostos should develop culinary arts workforce development center/industrial (Bodden)

7 Excerpted Interviews, Cont’d Hostos should develop six month “model bodega” exhibit in association with the National Bodega Federation at Longwood Gallery (Moltzen) Hostos should launch entrepreneurship & healthy food training program for restaurateurs, in conjunction with the Restaurant Opportunities Center (Fernandez) Hostos should engage students and staff in an “Adopt a Bodega” project through the NYC Department of Health (Moltzen) Hostos should provide training for Bronx residents to launch and operate “Community Supported Agriculture” or CSA programs (Moltzen) Hostos should advise housing developers with ground floor commercial space on leveraging retail food activities to improve public health outcomes (Clemente) Hostos should partner with the Fulton Fishmarket on workforce development projects to prepare workers for skilled positions in the Fishmarket, such as fish cutter, and to improve and diversify the skill sets of current employees (Maroulis) Hostos students can provide the energy and new perspectives Fishmarket wholesalers need to push them “into the 21 st Century (Maroulis)

8 Moving Towards an Integrated Food Systems Strategy: Proposed Near- term Community Benefit Initiatives Allocate space for a seasonal farmer’s market on Hostos campus; ensure that farmer’s market is WIC & food stamp-enabled Establish partnerships with Bronx-based buyers cooperatives such as La Canasta and Corbin Hill Farm CSA to increase year-round access to wholesome food for Hostos students, staff, and neighbors Raise institutional profile in sector by building partnerships with food access and food equity organizations and by hosting conferences and special events focused on food policy Review procurement practices and guidelines with the aim of encouraging local sourcing of wholesome and healthy foods and produce for food services and vending machines

9 Moving Towards an Integrated Food Systems Strategy: Proposed Credit Curriculum Initiatives Implement a Food Studies curriculum to provide training and certification in the culinary arts as well as liberal arts coursework on challenges of food equity and food access in urban communities Develop and equip test kitchen and culinary training center Integrate community nutrition coursework within the Food Studies curriculum Integrate public health training and certification programs in nutrition within the Food Studies curriculum, in an anticipation of Accountable Care Act’s emphasis on preventive approach to diet-mediated disease Design coursework around “Re-Envisioning the Bodega”, with Hostos Food Studies students designing a model space in conjunction with architecture firm and determining inventory with assistance from Hostos nutritionists and other experts in the field

10 Moving Towards an Integrated Food Systems Strategy: Proposed Continuing Ed Initiatives Partner with New Fulton Fishmarket on training program for fish cutting, logistics, and food handling Establish a “Bodegueros’ Institute” for training and certification of small grocers in food handling, produce marketing and merchandizing, and the promotion of healthy eating Customize food handling, logistics, and food safety training for other businesses in the food vertical

11 Higher Ed, Food Systems and Community Wellness: Recommendations for Connecting Food and Public Health The Accountable Care Act, with its emphasis on prevention of diet- mediated disease, can and should inform curricular approaches to Food Systems studies Hostos should expand Community Health Worker (CHW) training and certification program and incorporate a specialization in community nutrition The college should develop and enhance partnerships with Bronx Lebanon and other institutions expected to drive demand for additional CHWs The college should strengthen relationship with Montefiore Medical Center, which is pursuing a capitation approach to borough-based care and which will require additional CHW’s for full implementation Explore opportunities for expanding dietitian training program in anticipation of better-resourced prevention strategies

12 Higher Ed, Food Systems and Community Wellness: Recommendations for Connecting Food and Public Health, Cont’d Long-term opportunities for connecting food and public health at Hostos include: Establishing new Wellness Center on campus in partnership with Bronx-based medical provider Additional funding for new FQHC’s is anticipated under ACA Wellness Center practices can model ACA’s emphasis on disease prevention through lifestyle changes and improved diet Wellness Center can provide outstanding internship and fellowship opportunities for Hostos-trained CHWs and other public health workers in- training Establish Public Health Training Center Called for under ACA, this new program supports training of public health providers to advance preventative approaches to disease


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