Low adult literacy can lead to negative health-related consequences, such as poor ability to make informed decisions about health issues, respond to emergency preparedness messages, and understand environmental health risks. (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation


Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation was established in 1999. The organization serves the NYCHA community in Far Rockaway, which is home to more than 10,000 residents in 3,576 apartments in 60 buildings on five campuses, all within a four-mile stretch of Far Rockaway.

OBCDC has provides “wrap-around” social services to residents in NYCHA housing and develops resources to revitalize and transform the community including work with seniors and youth. Work with older adults includes computer training, access to senior services, and transportation to local doctor’s appointments, community services, and activities.

Community Experience Partnership

Healthy Communities Through Healthy Food

Older Adults Creating Change and Improving Their Communities
The first of 77 million baby boomers turned 60 in 2006. By 2030, 108 million Americans will be over age 55, up from 60 million today. Will our communities be ready for this age-wave?

To make sure we are ready, UNH – in partnership locally with The New York Community Trust – is participating in the Community Experience Partnership (CEP), a national initiative of The Atlantic Philanthropies that is working to ensure that communities throughout the U.S. will be ready and able to engage the talents and energy of older adults to address community problems.

Never before have so many older adults had so much knowledge—and so much time to use it. At a time of increasing challenges, unleashing this vast human potential is a social imperative. It requires fresh attitudes, policies, and practices that welcome the contributions and involvement of older adults in their community – leading efforts that address challenges, create change, and improve lives.

Through the CEP initiative, UNH is working with six organizations to demonstrate how older adults can be rallied to address an important community issue – access to affordable fresh food in low-income communities. From East New York in Brooklyn to western Queens, to the Southwest Bronx, older adults are bringing fresh food into their community, teaching local residents the importance of making fresh produce a regular part of everyone’s diet, and showing neighbors how to cook delicious meals with fresh healthy ingredients.

In two years, starting in 2010,  older adults working through this project brought in over 70 tons of fresh food to their communities by launching a fresh food buyers’ club, growing food in vacant lots, establishing farm stands, expanding farmers markets, and offering food education and cooking classes to their neighbors. two farm stands and two farmers markets have been opened, and 120 food gardens have been strengthened or established. 

Through UNH’s CEP initiative, older adults are not only addressing the critical need for fresh food, but they are demonstrating the key role they can play in improving their communities.
Six different organizations (including three UNH members) are engaged as community partners with UNH. As a group, they offer rich and diverse learning environments for developing models to engage older adults in the civic life of their communities.

Six different and distinct organizations are engaged as community partners with UNH:

For more information about improving healthy food access in your community:

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