CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor
e-newsletter of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute  
Lessons from Evaluating Community Food Programs
By Nick Freudenberg, Faculty Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
A community potluck held at Queens Community House, part of Building Healthy NYCHA Communities Through Food. Photo courtesy of Queens Community House.

For the last five years, our Institute has been evaluating community food programs in 14 New York City neighborhoods. From my own participation and observation in these evaluation studies, I have come to appreciate both the positive and negative roles that evaluation can play in community food programs and also some of the dilemmas these efforts face. In this commentary, I describe some of the lessons from these experiences and raise some questions about evaluation for the food policy and food justice communities to consider. My goal is to help ensure that five years from now, we know more about what does and doesn't work to create healthier food environments in New York City. 
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Stand with Immigrants!
Are you frontline staff working with immigrant or food insecure populations?

Let your voice be heard in planning a campaign for food security for immigrants in NYC. Help us better plan educational and advocacy campaigns by completing the Food Access and Immigrants survey, and inviting your colleagues who work with immigrant or food insecure populations to do the same:
Complete the Survey
This survey will provide us with valuable information about the current knowledge and uptake of food benefits by immigrants in our city so that we can better protect and expand access in the coming years.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Anabel Perez Jimenez at (646) 364-9578 or
In Case You Missed It
Urban Food Policy Forum:
New Opportunities for Improving Food within NYCHA Communities
On February 23, 2017, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute held a forum bringing together representatives from research organizations, academia, non-profit community serving organizations and the New York City Housing Authority to discuss that agency's current and potential food innovations. These programs, ideas and questions apply creative and diverse solutions to integrate resident engagement with social and economic development as well as increase access to healthy food. Watch the full discussion, view presentations, and read briefings. 
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Partner Events and Announcements
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Voces para Comunidades Saludables 
Join premier leaders in healthcare, media, research and community health for a conference dedicated to reviewing the specific ways cardiovascular diseases affect Latinos in the Northeast, and the critical role Latino leaders play in mobilizing the population to help influence behavior.
Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, will speak on a panel discussing food environments and health. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time Warner Center, New York, NY

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Hunger, Health, and Aging: A Queens Food Insecurity Forum
The Aging in New York Fund is partnering with Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults, the NYC Department for the Aging, State Society on Aging, United Neighborhood Houses of New York and York College - CUNY to host this event, which will feature representatives from community-based organizations that have an interest in reducing food insecurity locally, particularly among Queens older adults.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

York College- CUNY

94-20 Guy R Brewer Boulevard Jamaica, NY, 11451

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Upcoming Event
Urban Food Policy Forum: Evaluating Community Food Programs: What do we know? What do we still need to learn? 

March 23, 2017 9:00am-10:30am
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
55 West 125th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10027

Evaluation: Funders demand it, policy makers use it, agency directors want it, front-line staff sometimes resent it, and too often community residents gain nothing from it. Many of the community food programs implemented in New York City in recent years have been evaluated but it’s sometimes been a challenge to translate findings into more effective practice. In this session, panelists engaged at various levels in the evaluation of community food programs will discuss key questions. 
Staff News
Lauren Johnson has come on board as Healthy Food Retail Action Network Research Associate, working to combine evaluation data on healthy food retail projects across the city and develop a report on New York City's food retail landscape. She was previously a farmers markets based educator through the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as part of the USDA's Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Program. She also has a background in hospital food service and conducted a research project on hospital nutrition care practice. She is an M.S. Nutrition Candidate at Brooklyn College.
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