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Communities for Healthy Food NYC

Communities for Healthy Food NYC is a new, innovative approach to expanding access to affordable, healthy food in four of the New York city’s economically challenged communities.

LISC NYC is integrating access to healthy and affordable food into every aspect of our comprehensive community development work – through resident outreach, nutrition education and cooking classes; creating new or improved healthy food outlets and generating food-sector jobs.

This new initiative, funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, addresses the interrelated issues of diet-related diseases, poverty and unemployment to help residents live longer and healthier. First, by tapping LISC’s value as an effective community development intermediary with strong relationships with neighborhood organizations; the ability to leverage capital and programmatic funds; and a track record as a facilitator, convener and technical assistance provider. Second, by implementing this initiative through a network of LISC’s Community Development Corporation (CDC) partners who own and manage affordable housing and other commercial and community spaces; deliver an array of social and economic development programs and services; and have close ties to the neighborhood residents they serve.

Download the Communities for Healthy Food pamphlet (pdf).

Download the West Harlem Community Healthy Food Hub pamphlet (pdf)

Program Partners 

We are implementing this program with community development corporation partners in four economically challenged communities:


West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. 

West Harlem


Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

Cypress Hills, Brooklyn


Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation

Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn


New Settlement Apartments

Mt. Eden, the Bronx



SUMMARY REPORT: Second Annual Fresh Food Retail Summit

The second New York City Fresh Food Retail Summit was hosted and organized by LISC NYC and the rest of the Healthy Food Retail Networking partners on November 14, 2014. Whereas the initial 2013 summit focused on networking and gathering, the 2014 summit focused on the business perspective of selling healthy foods and included representatives from grocery distribution, bodegas, supermarkets, and the City Council. More than 100 individuals from organizations operating citywide attended the full-day event comprised of insightful presentations, a lively panel discussion, and afternoon break-out discussions.

As a next step, the Healthy Food Retail Networking Group will: 1) improve upon communication platforms though the distribution of an e-newsletter; 2) welcome the addition of a new Advocacy Committee; and 3) continue to host quarterly meetings.


SUMMARY REPORT: First Annual Fresh Food Retail Summit

LISC New York City helped plan and sponsor the first annual New York City Fresh Food Retail Summit. The Summit brought together more than 100 people to help strengthen collaboration and align efforts of organizations working in healthy food retail across NYC. The daylong event comprised of insightful presentations, a panel discussion, a poster session, and afternoon break-out discussions. Attendees left the Summit armed with new tools, resources, and fresh lenses to approach the current and future landscape of fresh food retail in New York City.

As a next step, participants formed a Healthy Food Retail Steering Committee that will quarterly bring together organizations working on the ground with brick and mortar retail operations to increase access to healthy foods. Please contact Jessica Goodell at for additional information.


Articles and Media

How This Brooklyn Neighborhood is Putting Healthy Food in Business - by Liz Pleasant | Yes Magazine (10/23/15)

"The Best Food Books of 2014" - by Corby Kummer | The Atlantic (12/13/2014) 

"A Hub Grows in Harlem" - by Lisa Cowan | LISC Institute (12/8/2014)

"New Food Hub Offers Healthy Choices to West Harlem" -by Roger Clark | NY1 (12/2/2014) 

"To Fight Food injustice, We Need More than Just Groceries" -by Colleen Flynn and Rick Luftglass | City Limits (11/24/2014)

"Health Food Summit Connects Advocates With Bodega Owners" - by Gustavo Solis | DNAinfo (11/14/2014)

"Cooking from a new Menu" - LISC Institute (11/11/2014) 

"Kale at the Corner Store" - by Erik Cuello | The Bronx Free Press (11/5/2014) 

"Cooking Workshops to Encourage Healthy Living for Bed-Stuy Residents" - by Camille Bautista | DNAinfo (10/30/2014) 

"West Harlem food hub opens to promote healthy eating" - by Anny Son | Columbia Daily Spectator (10/16/2014)

"Our Common Call to Service" - by Laurie M. Tisch | Huffington Post (07/29/2014)

"New York City's New Drive to Tackle Food Poverty and Poor Diet" - by David Thorpe | Sustainable Cities Collective (03/18/2014)

"Communities for Healthy Food Launch" - by Nick Charles (02/27/2014)

"Improving Neighborhood Nutrition Requires More Than Food" - by Denise Scott & Rick Luftglass | City Limits' "City Conversations" (02/25/2014)

"Communities for Healthy Food Arrive in Mt. Eden" - by Valerie Gladstone (02/24/2014)

"Teach a Man to Fish..." - by Clem Richardson (09/03/2013)




Communities for Healthy Food Launch

A vital, new program, Communities for Healthy Food NYC, was launched February 25th, at the New Settlement Community Center in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx. Funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and managed and executed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) NYC, the pilot initiative seeks to improve access to healthy food, increase nutrition education and create jobs in low-income communities. More.