The UNH Blog

Spring 2018 EMM Winners

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Congratulations to the 40 settlement house staff members who have been awarded the UNH Emily Menlo Marks Scholarship! These staff members work hard to support their communities and further their educations, and we are proud to support them. This scholarship is named for UNH's former Executive Director in honor of the contributions she made to social justice and community building. Learn more about the EMM scholarship here. To support the scholarship so we can continue to offer this opportunity, please click here!

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Spring 2018 Winners:

Susan Martinez

Bronx House

Anca Dragomirescu

BronxWorks

Chenel Luten

CAMBA

Jeremy Li

Chinese-American Planning Council

Michelle Santos

Cypress Hills LDC

Maria Rodriguez

Cypress Hills LDC

Eric Washington

Cypress Hills LDC

Chaira Lopez

East Side House Settlement

Melissa Perez

East Side House Settlement

Blasina Tavarez

Goddard Riverside Community Center

Anna Baker

Goddard Riverside Community Center

Muriel Abeledo

Grand Street Settlement

Zhiming Liang

Henry Street Settlement

LaGene Wright

Henry Street Settlement

Billy Rivera

Hudson Guild

Cara Aloisio

Hudson Guild

Valencia Petion

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement

Andre Conquest

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement

Arely Hernandez

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement

Alyssa Lenihan

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

Sonia Castro

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

Jessica Leylavergne

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Diane Lynn Skerbec

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Noemie Lemasson

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Magdelinne Pimentel

New Settlement Apartments

Tasheema Lucas

New Settlement Apartments

Sal Abuhamda

Project Hospitality

Ebenezer Ayiku

Project Hospitality

Joel Ponder

Queens Community House

Sean James Reyes

Queens Community House

Frederick Gonzalez

Queens Community House

Alison Rattray

Riverdale Neighborhood House

Lauren Rattray

Riverdale Neighborhood House

Arielle Richards

St. Nick’s Alliance

Nicole Highbaugh

SEBNC

Adriana Jadan

Sunnyside Community Services

Monika Fabian

Sunnyside Community Services

Laneska Rosario

University Settlement/The Door

Maria Monica Andia Escalante

University Settlement/The Door

Latoya Wilson

University Settlement/The Door

Settlement Houses Combat Food Insecurity

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's the peak of the holiday season, and while most people are concerned about grabbing the greatest deals, there are thousands of others that are concerned about grabbing their next meal. While the United States just celebrated during a holiday for giving thanks (and gluttony), according to the most recent Food Bank NYC study, over 16% of New York City residents are categorized as food insecure. The statistics for food insecurity among children is even worse, with 22.3% of children uncertain of when they will find their next meal. 

Settlement houses have entrenched themselves in the business of addressing food insecurity in New York City for several years and have some success in providing healthy food options to their communities. The following paragraphs will outline the multiple, innovative ways in which settlement houses are currently combating food insecurity issues.

Grow Your Own

What do you do when your community is unable to access healthy fruits and vegetables? You grow your own of course! That’s what Anita, Frances, and Delia did through our Healthy Communities Through Healthy Food initiative at BronxWorks. After discovering the dire need to reduce the meal gap in their neighborhood, these three ladies created a community garden through which they are able to provide organically grown vegetables to residents for an affordable price. Many of our settlement houses have intentionally recruited older adults to help address the lack of healthy food options through our long-standing alliance with Community Experience Partnership. Other note-worthy exemplars of settlement house run community gardens includes Kingsbridge Heights Community Center’s Garden and Union Settlement’s El Sitio Feliz.


Exercising the Settlement House Spirit

When discussing food insecurities, we must be sure not to exclude one of the most overlooked populations of all- seniors. Hartley House, in collaboration with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, collects between 50 to 100 pounds of fresh food from DigInn to redistribute to seniors and families throughout the week. They currently serve 75+ seniors, many who don’t have consistent access to, fresh meals on a weekly basis. The Assistant Executive Director had this to say about the effects of their project,  “A lot of our seniors don’t have weekend homecare (or don’t enjoy meals on wheels or their weekend aid’s cooking) so we know for certain that they have plenty of food and are eating over the weekend now.” Hartley House has taken the initiative to address one of the fundamental problems that cause food insecurity by providing their participants access to healthy, nutritious food free of charge.


Healthy Food Access with a Purpose

Located in the Lower East Side, the GrandLo Café is Grand Street’s latest endeavor in conquering food equity, community development, and workforce development. Although created to be a social enterprise, the GrandLo Café is a wonderful illustration of how increasing access to healthy foods can help empower the community to make better health-related decisions. In addition to providing youth with viable hard skills training, including licensing for food handling, the café also provides the neighborhood’s residents with nutritious foods from their diverse menu. The Lower East Side is one of the many areas within NYC that does not have access to affordable produce and groceries. GrandLo Café is actively trying to change that.


Food insecurity is a prevailing problem in New York City. Although the rates are slowly decreasing, access to nutritious meals is still significantly lower throughout New York in comparison to the rest of the country. While there are multiple ways to address this issue, settlement houses have created dynamic and engaging models that continue to inspire other organizations in their attempts to yield food equity for all.