Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted the first ever Bronx Food Summit, a day-long discussion on eating well in the Bronx. The summit brought together Bronx residents, health care institutions, food lovers, food justice advocates, local businesses, schools and community organizations to discuss options for healthier food and better living in our borough.
“From obesity, to diabetes, to hunger, Bronxites face the consequences of diet-related diseases every day. This summit provided us an opportunity to come together to address these issues”, added Borough President Diaz. “I want to thank all our local organizations, and specially acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the summit’s committee, for making this event possible.”
The Bronx Food Summit, held at Hostos Community College and organized by the Bronx Borough President’s Office, in partnership with Just Food, Why Hunger?, The Baum Forum and the New York Botanical Garden, offered workshops and informative seminars about finding fresh local foods, how to prepare these foods, how to grow fruits and vegetables, diets and health, among many other topics.
“The Bronx needs to be healthier. We are working to bring healthy food options into our neighborhoods, through the expansion of supermarkets and farmers’ markets in underserved communities, but it is a priority to educate our residents about healthy food choices, and with this food summit we are hoping to accomplish a part of that goal,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Health experts have identified many parts of the Bronx as “food deserts” due to the lack of access to healthy, affordable food choices as well as the proliferation of fast food restaurants and bodegas that offer unhealthy, highly-processed foods.
The event was sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center, New York Road Runners, Saint Barnabas Hospital, Health First, Amerigroup, Schervier/Bon Secours NY Health System, and Friends of Brook Park.
“Montefiore’s role as a major institution in the Bronx extends far beyond the patient care we provide. We take responsibility for the health and wellness of our community, which is heavily affected by chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension and obesity,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center. “By providing access to fresh and nutritious foods in a convenient location, we offer a vital service to local residents, as well as our patients, visitors and employees.”
“New York Road Runners is committed to helping all New Yorkers live longer more enjoyable lives through participation in fun, goal-oriented fitness programs which include a healthy eating component. The Bronx Food Summit is a great opportunity to get practical advice about nutrition and physical activity that can transform the quality and longevity of people’s lives,” said Mary Wittenberg, NYRR President-CEO.
“The summit’s steering committee is comprised of dedicated grassroots organizations and concerned citizens who are actively involved in transforming our borough’s food system, individuals who work diligently to provide healthy, affordable food to Bronx families”, said Regina Ginyard, General Coordinator, Bronx Food Summit.