Yum-o!’s Executive Director Attends Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership Event

June 23, 2008  • 

(Long Island City, NY) — Yum-o!’s Executive Director, Andrew Kaplan, had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) celebrating the opening of the Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership project and its first year at Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City.

Andrew shares, "Yum-o! and the NYCCAH are not formal partners, but we consider them a great friend in our mission of feeding hungry kids and getting them the tools they need in the kitchen. The NYCCAH works to meet the immediate food needs of low-income New Yorkers and enact innovative solutions to help them move ‘beyond the soup kitchen’ to self-sufficiency. This particular project will enable more New Yorker’s living in low-income neighborhoods to access healthy, fresh foods by working with locally-based farms in New York state.

"Joel Berg, Executive Director of NYCCAH, reiterated something that we’ve been talking about here at Yum-o! lately. He observed, ‘Hunger and obesity are flip sides of the same malnutrition coin. This project is so vital because it is simultaneously addressing both problems.’

"This project is a great example of how community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) can both support local farmers and serve as a critical tool to address hunger, malnutrition and obesity. It was conceived through a partnership of nonprofit anti-hunger organizations, including Just Food, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Hunger Action Network of New York State, East River Development Alliance, and the United Way of New York City."

A press release from the event with additional information about this partnership is included, below.

Photo courtesy of NYCCAH.

Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership Brings Farm-Fresh Produce to Long Island City

(Long Island City, NY) — New York City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) and a coalition of New York City’s anti-hunger and nutrition organizations hosted an event today to celebrate the second year of the Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership project and its first year at Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City.

"All New Yorkers, no matter where they live, are entitled to access to healthy food," said Councilman Eric Gioia. "Making fresh foods available and affordable will go a long way towards ensuring a more healthy diet for all New Yorkers. It’s a crime that in the richest city in the country we continue to have hunger – and this is a great step in fighting back."

The Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership is a response to the severe lack of access to fresh and affordable produce in many low-income neighborhoods throughout New York. The area surrounding the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House has only one grocery store, despite being home to Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the nation. Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House is a comprehensive, neighborhood based, social services agency which provides services to the residents of the Queensbridge Houses and the surrounding area.

The Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership is composed of two parts – the Local Produce Link component and the family-style CSA membership component. Each week from the end of June until the end of October, recipients of both parts of the program enjoy a variety of delicious, nutritious, fresh herbs and vegetables from small-scale regional farmers.

Through the Local Produce Link, food pantries and soup kitchens receive an average of 180 pounds of farm fresh food each week, providing their clients with wholesome, organic vegetables grown without unnatural pesticides or fertilizers and picked fresh from the ground or vine within a day or two of arriving in New York City. This produce is paid for by funding the New York State Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP).

The family-style component of the CSA offers community members a unique link to the farm through a direct buying relationship. Traditionally, CSAs ask members to pay for the entire season up front, which gives the farmers financial security and the ability to invest in seeds and supplies for the season. In turn, members each receive a portion of the weekly harvest, called a "share." With a focus on low-income members, the CSA recognizes the difficulties that up-front, full-price payment can cause for many families. However, through the Craig Murphy Anti-Hunger Partnership, members are able purchase shares with food stamps, and scholarship funding is available as well.

The Long Island City program is the second site of a three-year initiative that began last year with the opening of the CSA and Local Produce Link in West Harlem distribution at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, said, "Hunger and obesity are flip sides of the same malnutrition coin. This project is so vital because it is simultaneously addressing both problems."

The CSA project was conceived through a partnership of non-profit anti-hunger organizations including Just Food, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Hunger Action Network of New York State, East River Development Alliance, and the United Way of New York City.

This project provided an opportunity both for collaboration and for enacting the organizations’ mission statements. As Jacquie Berger, Executive Director of Just Food, stated: "Linking New Yorkers who have limited access to good food with local, family farms is at the heart of Just Food’s mission."

Gordon. J. Campbell, the President and CEO of United Way of New York City, stated:  "For United Way of New York City, making fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to underserved communities is a key strategy in bridging the gap in health for vulnerable New Yorkers."

Media Contact
s
Alexandra Yannias
NYCCAH
(212) 825-0028 x212
ayannias@nyccah.org

Lisa Ritchie
Hunger Action Network of New York State
(212) 741-8192 ext 4#
lritchie@hungeractionnys.org

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