From the Hunts Point Market to Fresh Direct, the Bronx is the heart of the food delivery network that feeds New York City. Despite this, Bronx residents suffer from higher levels of diabetes, hepatitis, and asthma than residents of other Boroughs. Far too many Bronxites live in food deserts, lacking access to healthy grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Access to healthy foods in schools, and the ability to purchase food at well-stocked supermarkets or farmers markets rather than fast food joints must become the norm to reduce chronic illness and allow Bronx residents to lead, happier, healthier lives.
Living in food deserts, too many Bronxites lack access to fresh, healthy food options, or access to quality green markets. In response to these issues, Council Member Salamanca worked with community partners to move healthier food offerings near the front of bodegas. He is also the Council’s biggest funder of the city’s Health Bucks program, which gives residents coupons that can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables. The 17th Council District having one of the highest coupon reimbursement rates across New York City; almost 90% of coupons reimbursed.
Through his role as Chair of Land Use, Salamanca expanded the Fresh Retail Expansion to Support Health Program (FRESH), which incentivizes developments to include a certified FRESH food space. Since the onset of the pandemic, Council Member Salamanca has utilized his existing relationships in the Hunts Point Markets to organize over four dozen food distributions that have served upwards of 45,000 Bronxites with fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy, as well as non-perishable food items. As a result of the continued success of these food distributions, the Hunts Point Markets have looked to make these local donations a permanent fixture of their operations.
Salamanca's Plan to Tackle Food Insecurity
Advocate for Hunts Point Market and ensure it is equipped to handle threats from natural disasters.
As we work to make our borough healthier, we must use comprehensive strategies to address food insecurity and health by ensuring all members of the Bronx community have access to healthy food. That means increasing the number of farmers markets and green markets in the Bronx and investing in programs that bring healthy foods to our community. Salamanca will:
• Prioritize the creation of fresh markets and green spaces when making land use decisions, especially in food deserts
• Work to expand number of farmers’ markets
• Work with schools to encourage healthier eating habits among young people