Food As A Community-Building Tool, 12/8

Thursday December 8

9:00 – 11:00am

Philanthropy New York
1500 Broadway, 7th floor

Register Here

Co-sponsored by Philanthropy New York
Livestreaming is available

[UPDATE: You can now read a recap and watch a recording of this event online]

There is an intricate relationship between food, culture, and society that we do not often think about as we make our daily meal choices and eat together or apart from one another. How do we take advantage of that relationship by using food as a means to engage the residents of a place to build community? What happens when food is used to create community-led projects and/or to help contribute to the identity of community members as leaders and advocates for their neighborhoods?

Join Community Food Funders and a panel of practitioners and evaluators to hear about successes in using food to engage their respective communities to advance communal health, support community members to become leaders and advocates, and cultivate a more just food environment for community members.

Topics will include:

  • How to work within a community to develop common ground across different neighborhood constituencies
  • How to build partnerships to empower and support community leaders to advocate for and increase access to community resources
  • Understanding a community’s needs, strengths, and how to address any barriers


  • Robin Berger, Interim Executive Director, Just Food
  • Ben Thomases, Executive Director, Queens Community House
  • Nick Freudenberg, Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
  • Rick Luftglass (Moderator), Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

About the presenting organizations

Queens Community House (QCH) has established an intergenerational, community-led initiative aimed at advancing communal health and cultivating a more just food environment within Pomonok Houses, a NYCHA development in Flushing. Components include a farmers market, nutritional workshops, cooking classes and demos, local gardening, communal eating events, and youth-led social action campaigns. QCH is a settlement house, and these efforts are tied into broader work building community and providing services at Pomonok Houses and beyond.

Just Food is a city wide organization that trains and supports community members to become food project leaders, peer educators, and advocates for a more equitable and sustainable food system in their own neighborhoods and throughout New York City. Since 1995, Just Food has worked in partnership with communities to launch projects like CSAs and farmers’ markets; to train community educators and food justice leaders; and to convene grassroots organizers to share resources and leverage their networks to advocate for good food policy change.

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute works to develop, improve, and evaluate policies and programs that support nutrition and health equity; promote economic growth and social justice through a food sector that supports good jobs, health, and  sustainable urban environments; convene and support CUNY faculty and students with interests in food policy, food studies and food justice; improve food security and nutritional well-being for CUNY students and staff; advance fair and effective urban food policies for New York, the nation and globally  in partnership with public officials, community organizations, and academics.

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