On February 14, 2013, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund launched its Healthy Food & Community Change initiative at a forum at Teachers College, Columbia University. The foundation announced a commitment of $15 million over five years to healthy food initiatives across New York City -– making it one of the largest donors addressing these problems in The Big Apple.
The spirited and in-depth discussion, moderated by Madelyn Fernstrom, Diet and Nutrition Editor from NBC’s TODAY Show, focused on ways to develop evidence-based programs and policies that encourage healthier diets and lifestyles while making healthy foods accessible and affordable to underserved communities. Elected officials Cory Booker, Christine Quinn and Scott Stringer were on hand to discuss their visions for a successful and vibrant food community and how best to translate this into reality.
Researchers, practitioners, and leaders in nutrition, education, and food policy also engaged in discussion about the current food environment, examined initiatives that have produced promising outcomes, and discussed strategies for furnishing public officials with evidence to support policies that lead to improved health for all, including those in communities with little or difficult access to nutritious foods.
Finally, the inaugural grantees of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s “Healthy Food & Community Change” initiative were introduced to speak about the importance of their work in the healthy food space.
Promoting healthy eating habits and getting affordable fresh fruits and vegetables into undernourished New York City neighborhoods in nothing new to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Back in 2008, the philanthropic fund teamed up with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to launch the NYC Green Cart Initiative, a progressive partnership that resulted in 500 street vendors selling fresh produce in these afflicted areas, a decrease in diet-related diseases and 900 new jobs.
To learn more about the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and its ongoing partnerships, visit: lmtilluminationfund.org.