Health Department Receives Funding for Food Access and Tobacco Prevention

On March 22, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health was awarded cooperative agreements totaling $25.4 million over two years for prevention and wellness initiatives. The two awards are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The first award, totaling $10.4 million, will fund work to decrease smoking and secondhand smoke exposure among city residents. The second award, totaling $15 million, will fund promotion of healthy nutrition and increased physical activity.
Health Commissioner Don Schwarz said, “The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will use this new federal funding to begin the process of creating an infrastructure for healthy living in Philadelphia. We will make tobacco cessation resources more accessible to Philadelphia smokers, further restricting youth access to cigarettes, and changing the norms about smoking throughout the city. These resources will also help combat chronic disease by making healthy foods more available to Philadelphians, decreasing the availability and consumption of unhealthy foods, and promoting physical activity.”
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will coordinate with the Department of Public Health to meet both the healthy food access goals of the Health Department’s project and the Greenworks Philadelphia goal of creating 86 fresh food outlets by 2015.

Teens 4 Good Break Ground for Urban Farm at Carousel House Rec Center Carousel House Groundbreaking

On March 19, Teens 4 Good launched a new urban farm at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Carousel House facility in Fairmount Park. Teens 4 Good, a program of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers, is a youth-run produce and nutrition business that transforms vacant land into urban gardens. The Carousel House is the eighth food growing site that Teens 4 Good has created since its inception in 2005. The program aims to improve access to healthy food and create meaningful jobs for at-risk youth. “This new farm advances the goal of helping teens realize that they have the power to create their future and change their community for the better,” said Diane Cornman-Levy, Executive Director of Federation of Neighborhood Centers. The Carousel House farm will receive support from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Organic Diversion. Some of the food grown will be sold at a local ShopRite owned by Brown’s Family Superstores. This great project will help Philadelphia meet the Greenworks goal of bringing local food within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents by 2015.