The issues are complex, and there’s no magic bullet. But there are strategies that have demonstrated progress and promise. We believe that the way to move forward is to empower and engage communities, foster collaboration, and provide the tools to implement change. With our new Healthy Food & Community Change initiative, the Illumination Fund aims to inspire healthier communities.

Laurie M. Tisch, President, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

I’m very excited about this new initiative and the conversation surrounding it.

What’s your vision to make your community healthier?

Bringing Policy to the Table: New Food Strategies for a Healthier Society

imageThis morning, we’re launching the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s Healthy Food & Community Change Initiative. The conference, Bringing Policy to the Table: New Food Strategies for a Healthier Society, features an incredible lineup of participants who hold positions in public office, philanthropy, nonprofits, and health entities. 

Want to learn more? The event is over capacity, but join us from the comfort of your computer! Tune into the livestream beginning at 8:45am, and tweet with us using #tcfood

Editorially, I’ve worked hard on this event, and I think it will feature fantastic conversation and ideas. Very worth joining in, or at least sharing with a friend or two!

2013 Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forum

More than 100 people gathered in person and virtually for the annual Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forum. The topic: Can City Food Policies Reduce Disparities? Lessons from New York and London.

Jennifer Raab, President of Hunter College, and Laurie Tisch gave welcoming remarks, and Sue Atkinson, the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College, introduced the forum topic. Corby Kummer, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, then moderated a lively panel of Sue Atkinson, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas Farley, NYU Professor Marion Nestle, and Senior VP of The Vitality Group Derek Yach.

Watch the complete panel above, and then join the conversation and learn more.

(Reposted from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund because I really enjoyed this event. Great conversation, and was another reminder of why I love NYC; it values health and acts on that value.)

The role of the SNAP program isn’t to provide additional money to paid government volunteers; it is to help feed hungry American families.

Senator John Thune, R-ND, in an article framing food stamps as a perk for paid government volunteers.

Right. Food stamps (SNAP benefits) are to help feed hungry Americans. At an AmeriCorps salary, especially in a city where needs are high and the cost of living is far higher than in more rural areas, it’s tough to get by. Being an AmeriCorps volunteer means that you make sacrifices and cuts, but safety nets like food stamps are there to support people having a hard time supporting themselves who (hopefully) are working honestly towards making ends meet (and making their communities better). AmeriCorps employees are and deserve the support of any safety nets they can access should they choose to.

Further, if AmeriCorps volunteers could opt into food stamps but only if they are then be ineligible for the education stipend, we as a country are training the exactly right people to become civicly excited and motivated, and then are pulling the rug from under them and making it far more difficult for them to get degrees often needed to apply their skill base and experiences on a more impactful level.

Even further, AmeriCorps volunteers accessing SNAP benefits does not take those benefits away from anyone else who is deserving!

Or, maybe the Senator is correct. In that case, let’s get used to the idea that AmeriCorps volunteers will increasingly be those coming from comfortable economic backgrounds. Because it’s tough to get by on an AmeriCorps salary alone.

New NYC Fresh Food Pack Launches!

A new set of 10 recipes, cooking tips, and kids fun has arrived! Get your free digital copy of the NYC Green Cart Fresh Food Pack here, or see if you can snag one at your local Green Cart vendor. And, if you cook any of the recipes, let me know how it goes!

This has been a fun project to work on through my job at the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation. Here’s to health and cooking fun!

New NYC Fresh Food Pack Launches!