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Increasing health equity continued to be a major focus of LISC NYC’s work in 2018. In March 2018, we released our Communities for Healthy Food Toolkit, a resource for community-based organizations developing healthy food access programs. The Toolkit includes lessons learned from LISC NYC’s Communities for Healthy Food program, which supported five community partners -- Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, New Settlement Apartments, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, West Harlem Group Assistance and NEHBDco -- to implement a variety of strategies to increase access to healthy food in their communities. The Toolkit provides valuable insights for community-based organizations wishing to undertake future healthy food access projects as well as for funders and non-profit intermediaries interested in supporting similar efforts. We were thrilled to have our Communities for Healthy Food Initiative spotlighted in our funder The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s Healthy Food & Community Change Initiative report. We also collaborated with the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, United Neighborhood Houses, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to identify promising models for integrating workforce development and healthy food access in a publication titled, A Guide to Growing Good Food Jobs in New York City.
In April, LISC NYC brought stakeholders from the community development and health care sectors together in a convening to discuss new collaborative ways to drive health equity. During the convening, we shared best practices and lessons learned from our Two Shades of Green program which is generously supported by State Farm and Mizuho USA Foundation, Inc. Speakers included NYC Department of Health & Medical Hygiene Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, officials from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), OneCityHealth, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and community partners Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration and Make the Road New York.
Building on this work, in 2018 LISC NYC launched the planning of a Community Health Partnership Program with the support of the New York State Health Foundation. By linking health care organizations, health insurance companies and community-based organizations, this initiative aims to improve health in communities by educating and supporting them to have healthier home environments and better strategies to manage disease. Our collaborators in this planning process have been community-based organization partners Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Make the Road New York, RiseBoro Community Partnership, and Fifth Avenue Committee, Managed Care Organization partners Empire BlueCross BlueShield Healthplus, Healthfirst, Metroplus and United Health Care, and government partner NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.