One of the Hunts Point Alliance for Children’s (HPAC) strategic initiatives is to increase the availability of fresh, healthy foods for people in Hunts Point. The organization has provided over $200,000 worth of produce and vegan products to the community through various programs, including produce for alliance partners and schools, spearheading the Hunts Point FarmShare and directly distributing produce and VBITES (soy meat-alternative) to families through HPAC’s Family Project and community events.
Beginning with Heather Mills’ 2008 pledge of $1 million worth of vegan food and produce to Hunts Point, to be administered by HPAC, the organization has continued its commitment to nutrition education and awareness. Alliance members use the produce as after-school and mid-day snacks, St. Ignatius School has implemented a daily salad bar to accompany lunch and SEBCO housing has hosted healthy cooking programs featuring nutrition education tips and recipes provided by Project HOPE, the community outreach arm of Urban Health Plan. The gift has also inspired a weekly teen dinner event hosted at the POINT, CDC. Through the gift, healthy eating has become a community affair.
In June 2010, HPAC hosted the first weekly installment of the Hunts Point FarmShare, in partnership with the BLK ProJeK and Corbin Hill Rd Farm, providing freshly picked snap peas, strawberries, spinach and more to Hunts Point residents.
The program delivers fresh produce from upstate New York on a weekly basis, and depending on the crop that week, participants receive a variety of fruits and vegetables to help them create health conscious courses at an affordable price for their families.
HPAC hopes that with Heather Mills’ donation, and with a little community involvement, Hunts Point will not only be fed, but healthy as well.