A local non-profit, the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the New York State Health Foundation. The organization will use the money to expand healthy food and lifestyle programs on the Lower East Side. Two Bridges and five other groups received the grants yesterday at an event in East Harlem.
According to a press release, the $2 million Healthy Neighborhoods Fund is meant to help communities “become healthier, more active places where residents of all ages can thrive.”
“Healthy food and physical activity need to become easy choices for New Yorkers,” said James Knickman, the foundation’s president. “The Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities will be working across sectors to tackle a wide range of neighborhood factors that adversely affect the health of New Yorkers in low-income communities.”
Two Bridges plans to use the money to expand a fresh food box program it sponsors in conjunction with GrowNYC. The two-year grant will also support advocacy efforts to make the East River waterfront more accessible to local residents. In its own press release, the organization stated:
We have gathered a broad range of local experts as partners who will provide the multi-faceted, comprehensive effort needed to combat the high burden of health inequities prevalent in the Two Bridges neighborhood: the Chinatown YMCA Cornerstone at Two Bridges Community Center, GOLES, Hamilton-Madison Settlement House, Hester Street Collaborative, Gouverneur Health, GrowNYC, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Urbane Development…
Yesterday’s event in East Harlem was attended by Chirlane McCray, New York City’s first lady. She spoke glowingly of Park Slope as a model neighborhood for healthy living. “We know that maintaining your physical and emotional health requires easy access to affordable healthy food, cultural institutions, and high-quality schools,” McCray said. “Park Slope has all of those things. Too many neighborhoods in our great city don’t. That needs to change.”
More than two years ago, the Two Bridges neighborhood lost its full service grocery store, the Pathmark on Cherry Street. Residents have been calling for a new market to replace the shuttered store, which was closed to make room for a massive luxury tower from Extell Development. It is meant to include a new grocery, but an operator has not been publicly named.