AHA Names NYC Community Impact Grant Recipients: Green Bronx Machine and Common Threads Empower NYC Kids Through Nutrition

New York City, October 1, 2018 —  The American Heart Association in New York City is proud to announce that Green Bronx Machine and Common Threads  are the recipients of the 2018-2019 Community Impact Grants. This year, the Community Impact Grants will provide $90,000 of funding for programs with strong, outcomes-focused initiatives that expand the healthy food access to children.

For the last nine years, the grant focus has been on improving cardiovascular health of young people, increasing physical activity, and increasing healthy food access. Since the NYC Community Impact Grant was introduced in 2009, the Association has dispersed more than $940,000 to 40 worthy recipients.

“The recipients of this year’s NYC Community Impact Grants reflect an identified need to build a culture of health for the youngest residents of our city. By supporting organizations like Green Bronx Machine and Common Threads, we are directly investing in the health, well-being and prosperity of future generations,” said Kathy Kauffmann, Senior Vice President, American Heart Association in New York City and Long Island. “We look forward to partnering with these deserving organizations as they work to improve the health outcomes of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”


Green Bronx Machine

The Green Bronx Machine will receive a Community Impact Grant of $45,000.  Green Bronx Machine is an impact driven, for-purpose organization rooted in the belief that we are all Amer-I-Cans! Green Bronx Machine was born via collaboration between life-long educator Stephen Ritz and his students who observed that as waistlines expanded, engagement and opportunities in school decreased, school performance suffered, and hope and ambition became minimized. Thanks to the Green Bronx Machine, students grow, eat and love their vegetables en route to spectacular academic performance.

“Green Bronx Machine is excited to partner with AHA to inspire healthy living, promote healthy lifestyles, and insure that public school children in the South Bronx understand how their choices and access / consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease. Together, we are committed to a better, brighter, healthier for children everywhere – Si Se Puede!” said Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine.


Common Threads

Common Threads will receive a Community Impact Grant of $45,000. Common Threads is a nonprofit that utilizes cooking and nutrition programs and curriculum to help prevent childhood obesity. Common Threads is working to reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, while celebrating our cultural differences and the things people all over the world have in common.

“We at Common Threads are truly excited about this new partnership between the American Heart Association and Common Threads and believe that our work together amplifies both organizational missions, responds to the rapid increases in the prevalence of diet-related disease and contributes to local NYC community wellness,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, CEO of Common Threads. “This grant will help us to reach over 8,000 NYC children and family members, who are living in communities where at least 80% of children qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, with our evidence-based healthy cooking and nutrition education programs teaching them to cook and eat for a healthier life!

More About Our Community Impact Grants

For the 2018-19 fiscal year, 27 organizations applied for the CIGs. Selection of these recipients was based on the programs demonstrated ability to improve healthy food access for children living in communities that reflect the greatest needs for improved health outcomes. Since 2008, the American Heart Association has recognized the need to fund and support community-based activities in NYC that address our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Many local community groups and organizations are working, or would like to work, on projects that would result in improvement in the overall cardiovascular health of our communities. This funding helps ensure that these projects can be developed and sustained in areas where we lack local staff presence to directly support and participate in these important initiatives. 

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