Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food & PlaNYC: Northern Manhattan Community Meeting

On Earth Day 2007, PlaNYC was released by the NYC Mayor’s office. The Plan was designed to accommodate a projected population growth of one million New Yorkers over the next 20 years while enhancing the quality of life, protecting public health and the environment, creating economic opportunities, and combating climate change.

The NYC Mayor’s office has been holding conversations throughout NYC in order to give people the chance to share their ideas on how to create a greener, greater New York and contribute to the update process of PlaNYC.

This is where YOU come in! Be part of the Northern Manhattan Community

Conversation on Monday, December 6th from 7 to 9pm!

This discussion will be for community residents, leaders and

youth to:

* Learn more about PlaNYC

* Help define you and your community's role in making the City

more sustainable

* Work in small groups to develop local goals for PlaNYC

NY Faith & Justice, along with other organizations around the city, are working to get food added on to PlaNYC in order to make NYC’s food system more just and sustainable. Please attend this meeting and share your story of how the lack of access to fresh and affordable food has affected you, your family, and/or your community.

To learn more about PlaNYC click here!

We hope to see you there!

Northern Manhattan PlaNYC Community Conversation

Monday, December 6, 2010

7:00PM - 9:00PM

State Office Building 2nd Flr. Gallery

163 West 125th Street, (enter on 126th)

A, B, C, D, 2, 3,4,5,6 trains to 125th

Please RSVP: Call 212-788-9770 or email

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get Involved: Results from the Food, Faith & Health Disparities Summit

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears and we prepare for a day full of food and family, I wanted to take a moment to reach out to everyone who both took part in the Food, Faith, & Health Disparities Summit as well as those who registered but were unable to attend.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time when food disparities come in full view. Some of our neighbors are unable to prepare a healthy meal for their family either due to the cost of healthy produce in their neighborhood supermarkets, the lack of fresh produce in their neighborhood supermarkets, or the lack of a neighborhood supermarket all together.

On Friday, October 29th and Saturday, October 30th, people from all five Boroughs came together to develop actions to take that would help create a more healthy and just NYC. I wanted to recap the summit as well as let you know how you can get involved in this movement!

Over one hundred people came out to the Riverside Church of NY on Friday night to kick-off the Food, Faith & Health Disparities Summit. It was a night packed with inspirational performances by Charmaine DaCosta and Christopher Cero as well as powerful speakers. Moderated by NY Faith & Justice Executive Director Lisa Sharon Harper, the evening featured speeches by the Rev. Dr. James Forbes, senior Pastor Emeritus at The Riverside Church of NY; Cecil Corbin-Mark, Director of Policy Initiatives at WeAct for Environmental Justice; Dr. Nick Freudenberg, Director of Hunter College’s Dept. of Public Health; Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet & and an environmental policy consultant with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability; and Carolyne Abdullah, Director of Community Assistance at Everyday Democracy.

Friday evening set the stage for a very active day on Saturday, October 30th. Over 150 people filled out eight dialogue circles that were formed to take part in a series of four facilitated conversations aimed at coming up with a series of actions that could be taken to combat the food and health disparities that affect so many of our communities. After completing this series of conversations, all eight groups came back together for the action forum.

During the action forum the group from Everyday Democracy reviewed all eight group’s list of actions and produced a list of six actions that were consistent with all of the groups. Working groups were then formed around each action. These groups are charged with meeting over the next six months to a year in order to develop and move on each action.

Below is a list of these six groups along with a brief explanation of each one. If you have not signed up for one of these working groups and would like to get involved, please contact Stephen at and let him know you would like to join the fight in creating a more healthy and just New York City.

Community Engagement

This group aims to find creative ways to get faith communities, schools, and community groups engaged in hands-on activities to make NYC neighborhoods more healthy. This could take the form of helping communities start co-ops, community gardens, or band together to develop centralized CSA’s.

The Farm Bill

This group will focus on the U.S. Farm Bill. They will focus on shifting subsidies from soy, corn and sugar to fruits and vegetables.

Food & Voter Education

This group will focus around educating the public on both political leaders’ positions and records on issues of food and health and on upcoming laws, ordinances or government actions that will have an impact on the food system of NYC. In addition, this group will inform faith communities, schools and community groups about how they can take personal and organizational responsibility to make healthy food choices.

Incentives for Purchasing Healthy Food

This group will focus on working to get NYC to incentivize the purchase of healthy food for people receiving government assistance.

The Living Wage

This group will organize around the effort to get a living Wage Bill passed in NYC. This group will especially focus on making sure food workers are a part of this bill.

Business Outreach

This group will focus on getting the business community involved in helping to create a more healthy and just NYC. It will work at getting businesses to support various programs around New York City that promotes health and healthy living. This could mean the launch of another Food Summit focused on building bridges between faith, advocates, and business communities.

We had a very successful Summit, now it’s time to put all of our talk to action!

FoodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC's Food System

What is the future of New York City's food system? Yesterday, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn released her new FoodWorks program that looks to create a more sustainable food system for the future of New York City. In a jam packed auditorium at the Food and Finance High School, Speaker Quinn told the audience that New York City is in a unique position.

"The New York City food market consists of over $30 billion in spending," Quinn said. "We have a budget for institutional meals second only to the United States military. We’re in a unique and powerful position to influence our food system—locally, nationally, and even globally."

Quinn's plan is a comprehensive program that involves five areas of concern (Agricultural Production, Processing, Distribution, Consumption, and Post-Consumption).

To see Speaker Quinn's plan in more detail see her plan online here!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Come Hear Wangari Maathi

Don't miss this chance to hear this incredible speaker and thinker on issues of Environmental Justice!

Enter the Conversation: a visit with Wangari Maathai

Cathedral of St. John the Divine (112th St. & Amsterdam Ave., NYC)
Wednesday, 1 December, 7:00 pm
the evening is free to the public; the doors open approximately one hour prior to the event

WANGARI MAATHAI was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. She is the founder of the Green Belt Movement (GBM), which, through networks of rural women, has planted over 30 million trees across Kenya since 1977. She was elected to Kenya’s Parliament (2002 – 2007) in the first free elections in a generation, and was appointed Deputy Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources (2003-2006). The Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2004, she has three grown children and lives and works in Nairobi.

When Wangari Maathai began her work with GBM, she wasn’t motivated by her faith or religion. Instead, she was thinking literally and practically about solving the problems of rural populations who were suffering from a lack of basic needs such as clean water and adequate food. After many years of working with the GBM, she came to realize that the organization has certain intangible values, specifically: love for the environment, respect and gratitude for Earth’s resources, self-empowerment and the spirit of service. None of these core values belongs to one faith tradition more than any other; indeed, someone can adhere to these values without being particularly religious or holding onto one particular creed. Dr. Maathai believes these values are spiritual in that they foster the aspects of ourselves that seek more than material comfort, power, or worldly success. They are what give our lives value and meaning, and inspire us to look beyond ourselves.

Dr. Maathai
has recently written about her journey in a book titledREPLENISHING THE EARTH: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. The book seeks to engender a new level of consciousness in people’s spiritual lives, explaining why it is necessary to reconnect with the natural world wherever they live on the planet.

For more information please visit

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving for a Low Cost!

Are you interested in fresh and affordable produce for this upcoming Thanksgiving?

On November 20th, NY Faith & Justice will be working alongside Harlem4 Center for Change, GrowNYC, and several other organizations, to provide organically-grown fresh produce direct from J. Glebocki farms in upstate NY. Each bag is $4 and will each have the following:

  • 3 White Potatoes
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bunch of Collard Greens
There will be 3 main sites open on Saturday, November 20th from 9:30am to 2pm in which you can purchase any amount of these bags.
  • PS 76 Garden - 120th & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd
  • Harlem Day Charter School - 240 E. 123rd St
  • Harlem4 Center for Change - 2479 Fredrick Douglas Blvd
**EBT will be accepted at these locations

If you would like more information or would like to volunteer at one of these sites please check out the GrowNYC website or contact Michael Morris at 917.838.2309 or

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


November 9: Bronx Urban Agriculture
"Drop fingerprinting mandate for food stamps" campaign / Food Policy Update

Bronx Food & Sustainability Coalition Meeting (BxFSC)

Date: November 9 @ 6:30pm

Address: Mary Mitchell Center - 2007 Mapes Avenue, Bronx, NY 10460
Join us on Tuesday, November 9th as we welcome
Karen Washington, lifelong Bronx urban gardener and President of the
New York City Community Garden Coalition. Karen will discuss how
community gardens can play a vital role in combating food insecurity,
promoting healthy diets and providing an untapped source for green
jobs. She will also discuss the new rules for community gardens issued
out by the Bloomberg Administration.
Afterwards - The BxFSC Food Policy Committee will provide policy
outcomes from our last meeting and action plan inc. dropping the
fingerprinting mandate for food stamps campaign.
See you tonight