This post is written by Senior Fellow, Charmaine Ruddock MS. She directs Bronx Health REACH, a coalition of 50 community and faith-based organizations, funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s REACH 2010 Initiative to address racial and ethnic health disparities.
Last January with snow blowing in our eyes and crusting our cheeks, and our feet sinking ankle deep in snow drifts, two of us from Bronx Health REACH and our partners from the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center and the New York League of Conservation Voters visited newly elected City Council Member Ritchie Torres and his staff to deliver more than 1500 post cards from his constituents. Those postcards, lying on the table in this picture, demonstrated the importance to the residents in District 15 of having more of the City’s HealthBucks which allows them to purchase fresh produce at their neighborhood farmers markets.
Next Tuesday, July 29th , community residents, along with those of us who trudged through that snowstorm and other partners such as the Bronx District Public Health office and GrowNYC will stand with the Council Member at a press conference to announce that he secured an unprecedented $10,000 in New York City’s 2015 budget for HealthBucks for Bronx residents. In a county that, according to the recent Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings report, is ranked 62 out of the 62 counties in New York State in health outcomes, and which has some of the highest rates of diet related diseases this is a win for Bronx residents and the farmers markets that offer them healthy food options in an area where there is such a lack. Collaborations such as this with elected leaders who lend their support to efforts to improve the communities health is good public health.