Food Justice Hits the Streets!

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Students in The Children’s Aid Society’s Food Justice After-School Program have hit the streets to conduct their very own community food assessment. The Food Justice Program empowers young people to explore what food means to them and to their community. These students, from Children’s Aid Community Schools P.S. 50 and P.S. 211 and from the East Harlem Center, are asked to consider the challenges their neighbors face as they struggle to feed their families healthy meals, and to propose projects aimed at increasing community wellness.

As the first part of this community assessment, the youth targeted local food establishments in their East Harlem and South Bronx communities which included restaurants, street cart vendors, local bodegas and supermarkets. The children paid close attention to what types of food were being sold, the quantity and quality of fruits and vegetables and what foods were displayed at the entrances.

The youth went on to interview members of their communities, asking them if they are satisfied with the available food choices in their environment and what changes, if any, would they make in their environment regarding food.

During this assessment, one could see the concept of food justice take root in each student’s mind. All the conversations about healthy food access, food systems and hunger went from abstract ideas to real issues affecting the people around them.

Stay tuned for our next program update, as the students compile their data and choose a community project to focus on.