Cecelia Tanaka, a former Robin Hood Program Officer for our Jobs & Economic Security team, is a passionate poverty fighter. Though she recently moved on to a new job opportunity, she continues to combat poverty in NYC.
While training for the NYC Marathon, Cecelia showed her support for Team Robin Hood by making this impressive map with the Map My Run app. By running for Team Robin Hood Cecelia is helping raise money to fund the most effective poverty fighting organizations in New York City and we couldn’t be more grateful for her support!
Show your support for Cecelia and the 1.8 million New Yorkers in need!
Don’t forget to join us at the Robin Hood Mile 20 Cheer Zone in the Bronx on November 2nd.
Robin Hood program officer, Veyom Bahl, recently attended a conference put on by the New York Academy of Science addressing early-life influences on obesity. The conference brought together scientists and researchers to discuss how what happens to a child even before she’s born might influence the likelihood that he or she will suffer from obesity as an adult.
Q & A
Q: You may ask, why would someone who makes grants for a poverty-fighting organization attend this conference?
A: The United States finds itself in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and unfortunately, obesity is especially rampant among Americans with the lowest levels of education and the highest rates of poverty. More than 25% of low-income New Yorkers are obese. Obese individuals have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, depression, and other medical conditions.
Q: Why is this the case?
A: Cheap, unhealthy foods are more widely available in poor neighborhoods. To paint a picture, there are 24 fast food restaurants per 100,000 residents in East and Central Harlem compared to 8 per 100,000 residents on the Upper East Side. Low-income neighborhoods frequently lack full-service grocery stores and farmers’ markets where residents can buy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. And even when available, healthy food is often more expensive. As a result, only 7% of the poorest New Yorkers eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, compared to 16% of the wealthiest New Yorkers. Moreover, limited access to quality medical care and affordable fitness facilities strengthens the link between obesity and poverty.
Q: So what is Robin Hood doing about this?
A: Robin Hood has funded two programs specifically aimed at targeting obesity in low-income neighborhoods. Fit for Life (a program run by Urban Health Plan) works in the South Bronx, where 33% of adults are obese. Fit for Life helps moms keep their kids at a healthy weight through age 5. Live Light Live Right (a program run by Brookdale Hospital) works in East New York, where 31% of adults are obese. Live Light Live Right helps kids who are already obese with doctor’s visits, nutritional counseling, and physical fitness. In addition, City Harvest recently launched a program, Healthy Neighborhoods, which brings farmers’ markets and nutrition classes to low-income communities around the city.
Q: What did we learn at the conference?
A: Scientists at Johns Hopkins think that managing gestational weight gain (how much weight a woman gains during pregnancy) might have a direct impact on her child’s body mass index and blood pressure out until the age of 32! So, like many of the poverty-fighting interventions that we fund, it looks like the earlier we can address the issue (this case, in utero), the better our chances are of success.
But we can’t stop there. So much of what leads to obesity is built into our environments, including the food and fitness options with which we are surrounded. Together with our grantee partners, Robin Hood is committed to supporting programs and research that can help to proactively address the epidemic in the communities we serve.
2014 marked the tenth year of Robin Hood’s Lemonaid program, a fun way for families to engage in Robin Hood’s poverty fighting work. Since 2004, countless lemons have been squeezed, resulting in donations totaling more than $1 million dollars.
Last week, in recognition of that milestone we gathered many of the families who have organized and participated in Lemonaid, either since its inception, or as recent as this past June. These families came together, not only to celebrate in their success, but also to share “best practice” tips for engaging their families and communities.
On September 11, 2001 the world changed. For Robin Hood and for all New Yorkers, 9/11 marks an anniversary of reflection. Today we’re remembering the lives that were lost through these heartfelt letters we received from families of 9/11 victims. The gratitude shown from those who experienced such tremendous loss is inspiring and drives us to be even stronger and more successful in our fight against poverty in New York City.
Source: SoundCloud / RobinHoodNYC
“In 1987, just after the financial markets crashed, I was lucky to be one of the five New Yorkers who sat down over cartons of take-out Chinese food in Paul Jones’ apartment to discuss how we could help our neighbors and the city we loved. That night, Robin Hood was born.” – David Saltzman
More than 25 years later, that quixotic idea has grown into a movement of tens of thousands of people helping our neighbors earn and learn their way out of poverty. And one man has been on the front lines of poverty fighting: David Saltzman.
Stepping up to the role of Executive Director 1989, David has fearlessly led the movement for the past 25 years to make New York City a better place. Over the years he has helped Robin Hood raise and grant nearly $1.5 billion to the city’s top poverty-fighting nonprofits. And he’s touched countless lives.
Last week Robin Hood’s original founders, Paul Tudor Jones, Glenn Dubin, and Peter Borish honored David’s work by brining things full circle with a Chinese dinner celebration.
Other board members in attendance included Alan Schwartz, Barry Sternlicht, Victoria Bjorklund, Scott Bommer, Larry Robbins and Tom Brokaw. A few individuals representing some of Robin Hood’s longest standing partners were included in the celebration as well: Michael Carrera (Children’s Aid Society), Gretchen Buchenholz (Association to Benefit Children), Norm Atkins (former Robin Hood Co-Executive Director, Founder, Uncommon Schools and Co-Founder and President, Relay Graduate School of Education) and Lisa Smith (former Robin Hood employee). David’s family rounded out the special guests for the evening.
While David and Robin Hood have done a tremendous amount of good, so much more remains to be done.To quote our fearless leader as he ends every staff meeting, “let’s go save some lives.”
We’re pleased to learn that the NBC halftime broadcast of tomorrow’s Notre Dame vs. Rice University college football game (3:30 PM EST) will feature a unique story. Tune in to learn about the architect who designed the Robin Hood funded, hurricane resilient housing implemented in Union Beach after Hurricane Sandy.