Healthy Food & Community Change Initiative Report

New York City is often referred to as a city of neighborhoods. Vibrant and diverse, New York City is home to 800 languages and made up of communities from all around the world.

And yet it is seen as a tale of two cities: one where the poorest neighborhoods such as Brownsville in Brooklyn and Hunts Point in the South Bronx have the highest rates of food insecurity and diet-related diseases. A city where the average life expectancy in the poorest neighborhoods is about 10 years shorter than in the wealthiest neighborhoods.

Progress has been made in reducing health disparities in New York City over the past two decades, but significant inequalities remain among New Yorkers of different economic and racial/ethnic groups.

So why are there such profound disparities in health outcomes?

Decades of harmful policies such as residential and commercial redlining and zoning laws as well as disinvestment has led to increased concentrated poverty levels and unemployment disproportionately affecting communities of color.