Institutional And Organizational
In addition to educating individuals about nutrition and fitness, Bronx Health REACH also works with organizations to create wellness policies and practices that support healthy choices.
Healthy Cooking for Your Congregation
The coalition’s Culinary Initiative trains congregation members responsible for preparing and serving food at the church to serve healthier meals. Read more about Healthy Cooking for Your Congregation or download the full curriculum in English or Spanish here.
Healthy Schools NY
Bronx Health REACH’s school wellness program, Healthy Schools NY, worked closely with school staff, parents, and administrators to change policies and practices on nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco. Bronx Health REACH worked to improve school wellness practices in six elementary and two middle/junior high schools in the Southwest Bronx through the program, funded by the New York State Department of Health. Healthy Schools NY focused on three main issues:
- Competitive foods: creating and enforcing nutrition standards for any food served or sold in school that is not part of the school breakfast or lunch program.
- Physical fitness: achieving the New York State-mandated 120 minutes of physical education per week.
- Tobacco: establishing tobacco-free policies in and around the school.
Bronx Health REACH worked to create system and environmental changes in the neighborhoods surrounding school buildings that made healthier choices easier and more affordable for students and their families. Read more here.
Healthy Hearts School Initiative
Healthy Schools NY built on the successes and lessons learned from the Healthy Hearts School Initiative that ran until 2009. The Healthy Hearts School Initiative was a partnership between 12 elementary and middle schools and Bronx Health REACH to promote policies around physical fitness and nutrition. As a result of the Healthy Hearts School Initiative:
- 11 schools established nutrition and physical activity wellness councils.
- 9 schools advocated for the incorporation of fitness programs to increase physical activity for students.
- 3 schools promoted the use of recreational facilities outside school hours.
- 5 schools introduced programs to involve students and their families in planning school meals.
- 8 schools implemented a healthy snack policy.
Based on these successes, a Bronx-wide wellness policy for schools was developed. After the funding ended, Bronx Health REACH awarded participating schools mini-grants, totaling $15,000, to enhance and sustain the activities organized by the school wellness councils. The partnerships formed through the Healthy Hearts School Initiative were also instrumental in implementing the city-wide policy to eliminate whole milk.
MARC Academy and Family Center
MARC Academy and Family Center focuses on both nutrition education and on transforming the Center’s entire environment to support and promote healthy choices for children, teachers, and their families. As a result of working with Bronx Health REACH, MARC trained its kitchen staff on healthy cooking and re-vamped its menu to include whole grains, low fat dairy products, and fresh produce. MARC also reinforces healthy living through monthly calendars featuring daily health tips, quarterly newsletters highlighting nutrition, and bulletin boards displaying nutrition information.
Worksite Wellness at the Institute for Family Health
Bronx Health REACH, along with representation from senior administration, human resources, health care providers, and support staff at the Institute for Family Health formed a Health and Wellness Committee to promote a culture of wellness for employees. Initiatives under consideration include adoption of Institute-wide healthy meeting and vending machine guidelines, initiation of group wellness activities such as walking clubs and team sports activities, and improving employee awareness of and commitment to fitness, nutrition, smoking cessation, and other wellness programs.
To learn more about Bronx Health REACH’s Institutional and Organizational Nutrition and Fitness work, contact us