Two new grants focus on improving health and wellbeing of CUNY students

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) Foundation has announced two new grants to launch and expand programs that focus on improving the health and wellbeing of CUNY students.

The Levitt Foundation has joined forces with CUNY SPH and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute (the Institute) to launch the Young Adult Food Justice Fellowship, a three-year initiative to offer continued training and opportunities for participation in food-centered civic engagement to 22 young adults who are current or incoming CUNY students. The Levitt Foundation focuses its funding on youth-powered food justice for children and youth living in the five boroughs of New York City. This partnership will create a pipeline to careers and higher education for young adults ages 18 to 25 who acquired food justice experience in their teen years. Incoming CUNY students in two 18-month paid fellowships will benefit from academic and experiential learning opportunities, internships, and mentoring by peers, faculty, and staff. The Fellowship will be based at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, located at CUNY SPH, and directed by Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health

We are excited to launch this initiative with the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and CUNY SPH. CUNY students are an amazing resource. Their commitment to our city is unparalleled and they are the perfect audience to benefit from this fellowship. Having worked with Dr. Freudenberg and the Institute before, we are enthusiastic about expanding our partnership to benefit food justice education in CUNY.

Barbara R. Greenberg, Executive Director for the Levitt Foundation

Applications for the Youth Adult Food Justice Fellowship are due by October 16,, 2019 and the program will begin in January 2020. Interested students should visit to learn more.

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation has expanded its support of food security programming on CUNY campuses by launching a two-year investment in the Healthy CUNY program. In partnership with the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice based at Temple University, the Petrie partnership will bring together CUNY faculty, staff, students, and administrators to create a comprehensive plan to make meaningful reductions in food insecurity among CUNY students. The project will look to strengthen capacities among existing CUNY food security programs, assist eligible students to apply for food-related benefits, and disseminate results throughout CUNY and other universities seeking to promote food security among their students.

The Petrie Foundation is one of the greatest benefactors of CUNY students. Our studies show high levels of food insecurity among CUNY undergraduates and it is known that food insecurity and hunger can make it harder for students to focus on schoolwork or force them to work more. These obstacles can undermine academic success.

Dr. Freudenberg, also Director of the Healthy CUNY Initiative

Students deserve the best possible circumstances to achieve their degree. No one should have to go hungry let alone students and their families while students are working hard in college. A student should not have to choose between continuing their education and going hungry. The Petrie Foundation is committed to try to help end food insecurity among CUNY students.

Beth Lief, Executive Director of the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation

We are profoundly grateful to the Levitt and Petrie Foundations for their commitment to our school, its mission, and its students. These grants make it possible to translate the mission of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy into direct action on CUNY campuses.

CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes

These grants mark a new partnership between the CUNY SPH Foundation and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute.

We are excited to partner with the Institute to initiate activities that can leave a lasting impact on the CUNY food security system and on individual students. These collaborations are the first of many efforts for the school and foundation to have an impact on the health of CUNY students.

Adam Doyno, Executive Director of the CUNY SPH Foundation


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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