Farmers Boulevard CDC seeks healthy eating alternatives with grant from Councilmember Comrie
NYC Councilmember Leroy G. Comrie, Jr. recently awarded a grant to help the St. Albans community improve access to health-conscious eating choices. The grant was issued to the Pratt Center for Community Development, which is working in partnership with the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corp. to identify health-conscious restaurant strategies for Farmers Boulevard.
A recent study published by the Queens Economic Development Corporation indicated that, among households in the St. Albans community, 60% of the money spent on food is for meals prepared at home (i.e., groceries), while the other 40% is spent on meals away from home (i.e., fast food, take-out, restaurants, etc.), an indication that the eating habits of many St. Albans residents is influenced largely by the restaurants where they purchase food.
“St. Albans would not be St. Albans without nearby access to fast Chinese food, pizza, Caribbean food, and soul food take-out,” remarked Isa Abdur-Rahman, president of the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corp. “However, we also need nearby access to restaurants where we can sit down with family or friends and choose from a variety of health-conscious menu options. One example that is personal to me is a need for low-sodium menu options, because people close to me have battled dangerously with high blood pressure.”
“Pratt Center is honored to be working with the Farmers Boulevard CDC on this important project, and we’re grateful to Councilman Comrie for making it possible,” remarked Vicki Weiner, the Center’s Director of Planning and Preservation. “We’ve already begun to explore a number of different strategies to attract purveyors of healthy foods to the community, and are excited to help the CDC focus its efforts.”
Councilmember Comrie encouraged the Pratt Center and Farmers Boulevard CDC to involve local youth in this project. One local high school student participating in the project, Imani Cruz of Excelsior Preparatory High School, volunteered because of her interest in studying culinary arts. “It is beneficial that our youth and adults of the community practice healthy eating. We have McDonald’s practically everywhere! It is time for a change,” Imani expressed.