In March 2009, the New York City Council passed, and Mayor Bloomberg signed into law, Green Cart legislation to bring 1,000 fruit and vegetable carts to targeted communities that were found to be lacking access to nutritious, affordable produce. At that time, Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) worked to mobilize community members, a wide range of direct service providers, and elected officials in support of the legislation. With Green Cart implementation well underway, CCC assessed the first year of implementation in the summer and fall of 2009. We collected information from community members and Green Cart vendors in three targeted zones – South Bronx, Central and East Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn.
CCC’s data collection efforts were geared toward determining whether the presence of Green Carts had a positive impact on the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the targeted communities and whether Green Carts presented a viable, cost-effective way to achieve the goal of bringing fresh produce to communities in need. With the assistance of CCC volunteers and community-based partners, we held three constituent focus groups, one focus group with vendors, and interviewed constituents and vendors through street canvassing.
Highlights of our findings from street canvassing and focus groups with constituents suggest the following: fruit and vegetable carts were relied on as a frequent shopping option; knowing about Green Carts increased the likelihood of usage and location played a critical role in consumer usage; once consumers purchased from a Green Cart, they were likely to do so repeatedly; and consumers rated the quality and variety of fruits and vegetables offered on the carts as good to excellent.
Highlights of findings from street interviews of Green Cart vendors, cart assessments, and a focus group with Green Cart vendors suggest the following: Green Cart vendors placed their carts in a wide variety of locations, operated more than five days a week at their chosen locations, and offered a wide range of produce and price points; Green Carts reached targeted populations, and vendors expressed interest in efforts to increase Green Cart usage by poor and working poor consumers; and most vendors reported a strong willingness to continue their self-employment via Green Carts.
The next round of Green Cart permitting is scheduled for October 2010 and presents the City with an opportunity to strengthen this initiative. CCC's report recommendations draw attention to enhancements that would ensure that poor and working poor New Yorkers would be able to make full use of Green Carts and allow Green Cart vendors to serve low-income communities year round.
Highlights of CCC's recommendations include the following: ensure that all Green Carts have access to EBT terminals so they can accept food stamp (SNAP) benefits as well as WIC allotments; facilitate the placement of Green Carts in close proximity to CBOs and allow for CBO cart adoption or sponsorship; encourage the targeted placement of Green Carts on public property, such as NYCHA facilities, Public Hospitals and Child Health Centers; and explore the feasibility of allowing Green Carts to be located in sheltered spaces on public property or at CBOs during the winter months.
We encourage you to access the full report here.
Keeping Track: Health Indicators for Infants in New York City
Every two years, CCC releases its signature data book, Keeping Track of New York City’s Children. In each of our upcoming newsletters, we will share with you some of the data from the most recent edition. Notably, the 2010 Keeping Track shows the early impact of the economic downturn, with increases in child poverty, homelessness and an increased reliance on food stamps, particularly in some communities and with a disparate impact on children and families of color.
In this newsletter we take a closer look at some important health indicators for infants in New York City: the percent of mothers receiving timely prenatal care; the percent of babies born at low birthweight, and the infant mortality rate. CCC’s most recent Keeping Track data show that, while there have been significant improvements in these three neonatal indicators, ethnic, racial and geographical disparities remain.
In 2007, only 6.0% of all New York City mothers received late prenatal care (meaning not until the third trimester of pregnancy) or no prenatal care, a decrease from 14.8% in 1990, when CCC first began collecting this data. Despite this positive trend, disparities by race and ethnicity exist. The number of White and Asian mothers who did not receive timely prenatal care was lower than the citywide rate, at 2.8% and 5.4%, respectively. The rate for Latina mothers was slightly higher than the citywide rate, at 6.6%. The rate for Black mothers, at 9.5%, was significantly higher than the citywide rate.
The percent of babies in New York City born at low birthweight (below 5 lbs, 8 oz.) has decreased as well, although not as dramatically. In 2007, 8.5% of babies in New York City were born at low birthweight, a slight decrease from 9.3% in 1990. In 2007, 7.5% of Asian babies, 7.9% of Latino babies, and 6.5% of White babies were born at low birthweight, all rates lower than the citywide rate. The rate of low birthweight births for Black babies born in 2007 was significantly higher than the citywide rate, at 12.4%.
The infant mortality rate (the number of deaths to children under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births) in New York City has decreased a great deal since the early 1990s. In 2007, the infant mortality rate in New York City was 5.1 deaths per 1,000 births, less than half the rate of the 1990 rate of 11.6 deaths per 1,000 births. As with low birthweight, the 2007 infant mortality rate for Asian, Latino, and White babies was lower than the citywide rate, with rates of 2.3, 4.0, and 4.3, respectively. In contrast, the infant mortality rate for Black babies in 2007 was 9.0 deaths per 1,000 births, nearly twice as high as the citywide rate.
While these data show that progress is being made in New York City for the youngest children, they also show that Black mothers are at greater risk of not receiving timely prenatal care, and that Black babies are much more likely to be born at low birthweight and are at greater risk of infant mortality than other babies born in New York City.
We encourage you to take a closer look at Keeping Track data, as we believe that it can inform the work of policymakers, elected and appointed officials, advocates and service providers. We urge you to use the Keeping Track data in your advocacy efforts. For more data, you can access Keeping Track online or email Rebecca Scheer at email@example.com.
CCC Welcomes New Staff!
CCC is pleased to welcome two new staff members!
Louise Feld is CCC’s Policy Associate for Education, Food and Economic Security. Louise came to CCC after spending over five years as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice (JRP). While at JRP, Louise represented children who were the subject of child welfare and delinquency cases in Manhattan Family Court, and wrote and argued appellate briefs on family law cases. Prior to her work at JRP, Louise litigated child welfare cases as an attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services. Louise received her B.S. from Cornell University in 1999, and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2002.
Laura Jankstrom is CCC's YouthAction NYC Program Coordinator. Laura received her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from New York University in 2006 and her Master's Degree in Social Work from Hunter College in 2009. At Hunter, her concentration was in Community Organizing, Planning and Development, with a focus on anti-oppressive macro social work practice. Prior to coming to CCC, Laura was a youth worker at Street Squash, an intensive after school program in Harlem. She has been working with public school children of all ages for over 6 years, as well as with teachers, administrators and community leaders. As a social worker and community organizer, Laura is passionate about creating opportunities for New York City's children and she is excited to carry on these efforts in her new position at CCC.
Training Adult and Youth Advocates
To ensure every child is healthy, housed, educated and safe, CCC believes it is essential to engage New Yorkers and give them the tools needed to take action on behalf of children. CCC’s Community Leadership Courses provide adults and youth with an understanding of children’s needs, the existing local services for children and families, and the barriers or challenges that may exist in accessing these services.
On September 15, 2010, eighteen adult students embarked on CCC’s 63rd Community Leadership Course (CLC) to learn more about the opportunities and challenges facing New York’s children. Each class includes site visits, guest speakers and discussions led by CCC staff. During the opening session the students were introduced to the topic of child poverty and income security, which included a presentation by Joel Berg, the Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Upcoming site visits include East New York Farms!, Family Courts in each borough, Covenant House, the Child Welfare Organizing Project and the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service among others. The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park will host CLC students during this year’s Community Day and the day will include a visit to Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and the new high school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (SPHS).
On October 18, 2010, CCC’s Youth Community Leadership Course (YCLC) will commence. The YCLC is designed to introduce public and private high school students from every borough to civic engagement and advocacy. This year the focus of the YCLC will be school food reform and how it relates to child hunger and obesity. There is still time for high school students to apply for the Fall YCLC. Apply here.
2010 Celebration Breakfast
Join Citizens' Committee for Children of New York
in Celebrating the Contributions of Child Advocates
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
7:30am to 9:00am
The Waldorf=Astoria, Grand Ballroom
Luis A. Ubiñas, Ford Foundation President
Eleanor Roosevelt Award:
Nancy Locker, CCC Vice President
Samuel P. Peabody Award for Community Activism:
Urban Youth Collaborative
Master of Ceremonies:
Melissa Russo, NBC New York Anchor and Government Affairs Reporter
Learn more about the keynote speaker and honorees.
Andrew S. Rosen
Lee A. Link, Marge Scheuer, Nancy Solomon
Register for 2010-2011 Policy Briefings!
Click here for a full listing of topics, speakers and dates! We look forward to seeing you there!