The overarching goal of Youth Food Justice Corps (YFJC) is to improve healthy food access and healthy eating knowledge in selected South Bronx neighborhoods through youth-led action.
Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center
1130 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10456
Rachel Gill, Director of Community Health Programs
YFJC engages youth to:
- Develop a series of short videos to be shared on social media platforms to encourage healthy eating and increase awareness of food justice issues
- Work with seniors to engage in neighborhood-based activities that will lead to healthy food production, in particular growing vegetables
- Harvest, cook, and serve healthy foods to pre-school children as well as other youth
- Educate elected officials, other community leaders, and food retailers through presentations on food equity issues
- Operate BronxWorks and Mott Haven Farm stands
- Improve marketing efforts that are designed to promote healthy shopping and facilitate healthy eating.
BronxWorks Youth Food Justice Corps Support Their Community Through the Pandemic
During the summer and the fall, participants from the BronxWorks youth programs were employed at the BronxWorks CMCC and Belvis Hospital Farm Stands. Youth from the programs supported operations of both farm stands and conducted outreach as a part of the Levitt Foundation Youth Food Justice Program. During the summer, they developed a series of short videos to be shared on social media platforms to increase awareness of food justice issues and encourage healthy eating. Participants are engaging local elected officials, community leaders, and food retailers with these videos and their food justice messages to build grassroots momentum. Finally, as New York City began to re-open, youth participants supported critical in-person outreach in the community and at BronxWorks Farm Stands to engage vulnerable populations, in particular seniors who could not reliably access resources and materials online.
“Not everyone is able to access information or participate in our programs virtually. Particularly, seniors have had difficulty participating with our virtual content, so we have to make sure we have options to reach every group safely and reliably,” said BronxWorks SNAP-Ed Program Director Carolina Espinosa.
Youth-led programming has proven to be pivotal in building community support for change and healthy initiatives. It is particularly effective in engaging children and other young people, as well as building intergenerational connections with older adults and seniors. The youth participants gain work experience, engage in the Youth Food Justice curriculum, and learn first-hand what it takes to become food advocates.