Community Food Council

Image Credit: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

Image Credit: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

Our goal: Affordable, healthy and culturally diverse foods through creativity, advocacy, education and collective action.

The Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Community Food Council (the Council) provides a framework for strengthening neighborhood efforts around food access, and encourages a more collective action and conversation. Council members range in age from 20-65 and offer diverse perspectives as food & health professionals, advocates, parents, youth and Fort Greene & Clinton Hill residents. The mission of the Council is to link and strengthen community efforts to support healthy eating.  Engaging community members is a key component of our work through collective action and conversation.  In acknowledging the complexity and potential of urban life, we honor the rich diversity of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill. We strive to support access to affordable, nutritious and delicious food options for every community member year-round.

With the Council as advisors, we completed the 2011 Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Community Food Assessment (CFA) titled Get Fresh! Food access, food justice and collective action in Fort Greene & Clinton Hill to prioritize strategies and inform community-led projects around food access.

Building a Platform for Community Engagement

The  Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Community Food Council formed in tandem with the research phase of the Get Fresh! Community Food Assessment to act as advisors to the process. As many as 75 residents, activists and professionals  engaged in the conversation and volunteered their time to help guide the methodology, administer resident surveys, create GIS maps, analyze data and share the published data and opportunities for more to get involved.

Following the publication of the CFA, twelve residents from diverse socio-economic backgrounds  ranging in age from 18-65  came together to spearhead the Council’s work.  Together they prioritize the community food projects recommended in  the CFA, plan and implement the necessary action(s) to move forward, and  ensure that community engagement remains a key component of the work.

The Council has prioritized 7 projects that were recommended in the CFA:

  1. Connect with local gardeners and share the Farming Concrete NYC Community Garden Harvest Mapping Project to ensure that their food harvest is included in a city-wide effort to measure how much food is grown in New York City’s community gardens.
  2. Offer nutrition education opportunities through supermarket tours that teach consumers how to shop healthy on a budget AND  the creation of a free “healthy eating on a budget” journal specific to Fort Greene and Clinton Hill titled The Neighbor’s Kitchen Journal.
  3. Advocate for and partner with key organizations to keep local donations in our community in order to ‘Close the Loop’.
  4. Partner with local emergency food outlets to assist in the formation of a Pantry Coalition for pantry organizers and operators.
  5. Partner with the Ingersoll Resident Association to develop a “Just Say YES! to Healthy Eating” marketing campaign that will engage both youth and seniors.
  6. Encourage  local retailers that do not accept EBT payments to incorporate this into their business.
  7. Work with the NYC Economic Development Corporation as they approach Fine Food Market that serves Farragut NYCHA residents and encourage them to apply to the FRESH renovation program.

A full list of the Community Food Projects can be found here: Strategies for Strengthening our Community Food System. If you are interested in starting a food council in your community, click here for resources that can help you get started.

A Few Highlights: