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Columbia University Students present: “The Minority Health Forum” (03.24 @ 7p)

March 8, 2011

Columbia University Students for Food Policy and Obesity Prevention invite you to attend:

The Minority Health Forum

A Citywide Assessment of Obesity in Minority Populations


March 24, 2011 – 7-8:30 p.m.

Columbia University Medical Center, Alumni Auditorium

650 W. 168th Street, New York, NY 10032.

Across the United States, obesity poses one of the most serious threats to the population and health care system—and New York is no exception. According to the New York City Department of Health Community Health Survey, more than a third of New Yorkers are overweight, and nearly one-quarter are obese.

The burden of obesity disproportionately falls upon communities of color.  In NYC Black and Hispanic populations, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes is approximately twice that of white populations—a health disparity traceable to fundamental social and environmental problems.  A diverse group of expert panelists will provide insights on the issue to critically examine the socioeconomic and political structures that cause these health disparities.

Keynote Speaker:
Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President

Speaker Panel:

  • Cathy Nonas, Director of Physical Activity and Nutrition, New York City Department of Health
  • Michael HernandezCommunity Outreach Manager, Healthy Mondays Campaign and the Harlem Health Promotion Center
  • Dr. Olajide Williams, M.D., Founder, Harlem Hop Hop Public Health Education Center

Reception to follow!



Mariana Cotlear

Students for Food Policy and Obesity Prevention

MPH Candidate, 2011
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health



Food Security in Ghana (NYU Summer ’11)

February 24, 2011

Hello all! I apologize, because I must speak directly to the NYU community out there right now – we are excited to share this unique study abroad opportunity with you all! Please look to the links and description below to learn more. If interested, there are a number of students who went on this trip last summer – I’m sure we could get some stories from them! All NYU students are welcome to apply.

NYU Wagner Summer Course Abroad:

Food Security and Hunger in a Global Perspective

Instructors: John Gershman and Diana Beck

Accra, Ghana at NYU Accra / June 12–24, 2011

This course explores the political and economic policy issues surrounding hunger and food security, drawing on many case examples and using Ghana as a case study. The course will provide an overview of some of the core dimensions of global hunger and food security policy issues, including debates over a new green revolution, food aid, fair trade, the impact of expanded biofuels production, and the impact of the inter-related financial, food, and fuel crises. The class will incorporate visits to sites in Ghana and discussions with organizations involved in efforts to enhance food security.

For more information, including how to request registration for the course, visit or contact NYU Wagner’s Office of International Programs at


Become a FoodCorps Service Member!

February 8, 2011

Want to spend a year doing paid service projects building and tending school gardens, developing Farm to School programs and conducting hands-on nutrition education initiatives in communities of need?

Well…Become a FoodCorps Service Member! Applications are Open!

FoodCorps, a new national service program designed to reverse childhood obesity while cultivating a new generation of farmers and public health leaders, is now accepting applications from potential Service Members.

Click here to learn more and apply to be a FoodCorps Service Member.

FoodEDU-sponsored TEDx Viewing Party THIS Saturday @ NYU!!

February 8, 2011

FoodEDU: The New York Student Food Collaborative – in partnership with the Wagner Food Policy Alliance and Chefs for Schools, NYU Chapter – invites you to a viewing party for the 3rd session of the TEDxManhattan conference, “Changing the Way we Eat“.

Seated space is limited to 60, so **PLEASE RSVP AT MEETUP!**

Where: NYU Kimmel Building (60 Washington Square South, NYC), Room 405
When: Saturday, February 12, 4-6 p.m

For non-NYU student – be sure to have a Photo ID to present to security office

Please join us as we watch and discuss experts discuss issues related to food access, sustainability, and promoting healthier eating.  We’ll get together to meet up as students and future leaders from across New York in order to network and contemplate the issues that matter to us most.

Session 3 – Where are we going?

  • Dr. William Li, President Angiogenesis Foundation – Can We Eat to Starve Cancer? (TEDTalk Video)
  • Dr. William Li update
  • Michael Conard, Assistant Director Urban Design Lab and Adjunct Associate Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University
  • Britta Riley, Artist and Co-Founder, Windowfarms
  • Elizabeth Ü, Founder and Executive Director Finance for Food
  • Performance
  • TEDxManhattan Challenge
  • Frederick Kaufman, Professor CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
  • Curt Ellis, Co-Founder FoodCorps, Peabody award-winning filmmaker
  • Michel Nischan, Chef, President/CEO Wholesome Wave Foundation, Owner/Founder Dressing Room restaurant, cookbook author

RSVP on Meetup!

“Changing Policy to Improve the Food Environment” @ Columbia University

February 7, 2011

Changing Policy to Improve the Food Environment
Kristen Mancinelli from City Harvest discusses Advocacy & the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

Wednesday, February 9, 5- 6 p.m.
Location: Hammer Health Sciences Center, Lower Level 106
701 West 168th Street
Columbia University Medical Center

Please RSVP to

Kristen Mancinelli is Senior Manager of Policy and Government Relations at City Harvest, where she advocates for programs and policies at the city, state, and federal levels to promote community food security and improve access to healthy and affordable food for low-income New Yorkers.

During the last year, Kristen spearheaded the NYC Alliance for Child Nutrition Reauthorization, an umbrella advocacy group working to improve the quality of food in schools, with the following goals:

• End child hunger and food insecurity,
• Ensure that all children have access to nutritious foods,
• Reduce childhood obesity and ensure healthy children, and
• Support regional farm and food economies while creating jobs and protecting the environment

Kristen was immersed in this bill throughout its life cycle, which eventually resulting in the passage of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” in December of 2010.

As en expert in food policy and advocacy, Kristen will be speaking to us about the process of influencing lawmakers to change policy.  She will share with us her first-hand experience in building the Alliance: gathering stakeholders, priority setting, messaging to public and policymakers, maintaining momentum, and effectively changing legislation.

Hello all —

Would love for you to attend our inaugural event for 2011.  Please feel free to distribute to your members.  Non-CUMC students should plan to arrive a little early to secure guest passes.  Hope to see you there!


Hello and Welcome to FoodEDU!

February 4, 2011

Hello everyone and welcome to the beginning of a new, fabulous year!

My name is Stacy, and I am one of the leaders at the Wagner Food Policy Alliance, a student group at NYU Wagner’s Graduate School of Public Service, who helped dream up this idea of a multi-school collaborative. I hope most of you were able to come to our trial/inaugural event at Jimmy No. 43’s at the end of last semester. For just a few tweets, Facebook messages and emails…it was hugely successful! I’d say over 70 people showed up during those 2-3 hours. That said, the few of us at the head of this pseudo group have come up with “FoodEDU” as the official title of our collaborative. I’m most excited about its tweetable qualities, which we all know is very important.

In case you haven’t heard any thing about this effort, FoodEDU: NYC  Student Food Collaborative is a collective of  students from academic programs throughout NYC focused on food policy initiatives. The group is simple in mission: FoodEDU seeks to connect students throughout NYC’s five boroughs to encourage change at a greater, city-wide  level  and to provide networking opportunities. FoodEDU will meet periodically through happy hours around the city to provide a space for such connections. We will also promote events, highlight key figures (students and industry leaders) who are actively working in this field. And lastly, we will have some good, clean fun! Cheers and happy, sustainable eating!

Please, feel free to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

Lastly, we are working diligently to put together a screening of the last session of the TedxManhattan conference next Saturday, Feburary 12th. However, we are in need of a “non-commercial space”. Do let us know if you have any suggestions.

Thanks and talk soon!