More than 75 organizations offer over 160 food and nutrition education programs to New York City public school students. These organizations ease the burden on schools by providing food and nutrition expertise, resources, and learning experiences to complement existing curriculum.
In March 2018, the Tisch Food Center published A is for Apple: The State of Nutrition Education Programs in New York City Schools analyzing the work these organizations do. The report showed that only 56% of New York City schools had external food and nutrition education programs, most notably in the most affluent and the lowest-income neighborhoods. A vast number of schools in poor, moderate, and working class neighborhoods lacked these valuable programs. Schools serving adolescents also lacked programs: food and nutrition programs were almost entirely focused on K-8 schools.
In October 2018, the Tisch Food Center convened the approximately 75 organizations for a first-of-its-kind Food Ed Summit. The Summit brought together key stakeholders including the DOE, Food Ed organization leaders, educators, parents, and school community members to strategize about the future of food and nutrition education in NYC. Food Ed Summit participants determined that a key priority for NYC food and nutrition education groups was a coordinating body.
Following the Summit, a coalition of these groups launched a successful campaign for a Food Ed Hub. In July 2019, the City Council allotted $250,000 for fiscal year 2020 to support the Food Ed Hub.
The Coalition decided that the Tisch Food Center would become the home for the Food Ed Hub. The Food Ed Hub now acts as a formal structure to foster collaboration and coordination among Food Ed organizations, helping to align resources, increase efficiency, avoid duplication of effort, and identify best practices that can be brought to scale.