What We Do
In 2010, 49 million Americans, or one in six, lacked the resources to eat sufficient, regular meals – a new all-time high. (USDA)
Hamilton-Madison House (HMH) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in the Two Bridges/Chinatown area on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Hamilton-Madison House offers a variety of human service social programs. Each week, Hamilton-Madison House provides services to 1,700 people of all ages and to more than 10,000 people annually.
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:
- United Community Centers (UCC) of East New York, Brooklyn
- Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP) of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn
- Isabella Geriatric Center (Isabella) of the Washington Heights and Inwood Neighborhoods of Northern Manhattan
- Just Food
- Queens Community House
For more information about improving healthy food access in your community:
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