Hope you are all doing well and staying safe. I would like to remind you all about our Food and Health Empowerment Fair this Saturday hosted by myself and Councilmember-Elect Marjorie Velázquez. The event will take place Saturday, November 20th from 12-5 PM at the Huntington Free Library located at 9 Westchester Square, Bronx, NY 10461.
The Fair will feature a panel discussion of elected officials and community leaders to discuss government and community-based solutions to combat food insecurity in the Bronx, followed by a food justice resource fair and turkey and produce distribution. We hope to bring the community together as we approach the holiday season, host an educational conversation regarding the issue of food insecurity, promote local food resources, and provide turkeys and grocery items to meet the needs during the November holiday season.
I’m excited to announce our panelists for our food insecurity panel discussion. These panelists offer a range of perspectives on combating food insecurity, and have expertise in developing government and community-based solutions.
Our panelists are as follows:
- Moderator: Jonathan Cetnarski from the Sylvia Center: Jonathan is the Executive Director for The Sylvia Center, a NYC based food justice non-profit. He has more than 20 years of experience transforming businesses, building resiliency and driving growth. Before The Sylvia Center, Jonathan was CEO and President of Natural Gourmet Institute, a nationally accredited, plant-based culinary school which educated chefs on the connection between food and health.
- State Senator Alessandra Biaggi: Alessandra Biaggi is a two-term New York State Senator in her home district, NY-34. Senator Biaggi seeks to change the way business is done in Albany, and tirelessly fights to make New York’s government work for the people, not the powerful. She has led the charge in New York to pass legislation that strengthens protections for survivors and holds employers accountable for addressing sexual misconduct.
- Councilmember-Elect Marjorie Velázquez: Marjorie is the Councilmember-Elect for District 13. She previously served as treasurer and currently serves on the executive board as Municipal Services Committee chair for the Bronx Community Board 10 to provide a much needed voice to the community on issues ranging from transportation to parks services and other quality of life issues. Since 2014, Marjorie has also been elected as the Democratic District Leader and an executive board member of the Chippewa Democratic Club, both in the 82nd Assembly District.
- Elizabeth Peralta-Foxwell from Feed Forward: Elizabeth has deep roots within the food and community development scene. She is one of the founders of Feed Forward, a company focused on creating a better food future. Peralta-Foxwell grew up food insecure which is why this is more than a mission but a lifelong battle for good. She previously served as the Executive Director of the National Supermarket Association (NSA), where she served to protect the interest of over 500 supermarket owners in the tri-state area.
- Phillip Grant from Hunts Point Produce Market: Phillip is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hunts Point Produce Market. Phillip leads a team of approximately 110 staff that support the day-to-day operations of the largest wholesale produce market in the nation. The Hunts Point Produce Market is committed to serving the NYC region—and that includes giving back. In 2019, more than 6 million pounds of food made its way to neighbors in NYC and Westchester.
- Deepti Sharma from FoodtoEat: A lifelong entrepreneur, Deepti is the CEO and Founder of FoodtoEat, a community-minded catering concierge service. She started FoodtoEat in 2011 to connect immigrant, women and minority-owned food vendors to opportunities for growth— ultimately helping them strengthen their own business skills. FoodtoEat helps businesses feed employees great food and build stronger & more diverse work cultures.
- Jessica Altagracia Woolford from Kingsbridge Unidos: Jessica is a local organizer, who was born and raised in Kingsbridge, and now lives in Riverdale. At the height of the pandemic, Jess started Kingsbridge Unidos: a volunteer-run, mutual aid effort to deliver over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce, in addition to thousands of masks, and valuable bilingual information about COVID-19 and more, to families in Kingsbridge.
Masks are required for the entirety of the event and will also be provided. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and my team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our office at 718-822-2049.
I look forward to seeing everyone there this weekend!
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi