NYC Healthy Neighborhoods

NYC Healthy Neighborhoods is a blog maintained by the NYC Health Department’s three District Public Health Offices (DPHOs) in Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Here you will find local news, events, resources, and program updates from the DPHOs and our community partners.
Shop Healthy Bronx
Attention Bronx residents! Shop Healthy Bronx, a program that works with communities – including residents, food retailers, and food suppliers and distributors – to increase access to healthy foods, is moving into East Tremont, Bronx this fall! As we move into this neighborhood, we want to work in partnership with you and your community groups to help transform the food environment…one store at a time!

You’re invited to attend a Shop Healthy Bronx meeting taking place on Thursday, September, 25th from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 1932 Arthur Ave, Room 203, Bronx, NY 10457. 

At the meeting, you can share your opinions, network, and help decide how to make sure all members of your community have access to high-quality, healthy foods. 

Please RSVP to by Saturday, September 20, 2014.  If you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in participating, please contact us at . 

For more information about Shop Healthy Bronx, please click here. 

Attention Harlem residents! Come to the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence (EHACE) on October 2 to get your free flu shot! See flyer above for details.

Everyone aged 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and even death. Getting a flu shot now can help reduce the risk of getting the flu this fall-winter season. Click here for information about the flu. 

Yesterday, at Bishop Sexton Head Start in Brooklyn we announced a new healthy eating initiative called “Farm to Preschool.” Now more families can access fresh fruits and vegetables across the city! 


Farm to Preschool Program Launches!

In partnership with GrowNYC and Corbin Hill Food Project, our new initiative brings affordable, locally grown produce to parents, kids and community members in neighborhoods across the city.

This pilot program is available at 11 New York City preschools. Each week, during the farmers’ market season (July through November), parents, staff and community members can purchase a produce box with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at participating preschools. Prices range from $10 to $12, and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, Health Bucks, cash, credit and debit are accepted. 

Teachers at all 11 schools will use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Grow it, Try it, Like it” curriculum in the classroom to garden with children and give them hands on experience with seasonal fruits and vegetables as part of the program. In addition, caregivers will receive on-site nutrition education and food demonstrations. This includes lessons about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and how to prepare simple and healthy recipes, such as “Leafy Greens with Apple Dressing” and “Red Pepper and White Bean Salad.”

Farm to Preschool Produce Box Locations

Sign up for a Corbin Hill Farm Share online or by visiting one of these locations on distribution day:

  • Child Center of New York Escalera Head Start, 169 West 87th Street, Manhattan, 10024
    Distribution on Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Child Center of New York, 60-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, Queens, 11377
    Distribution on Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • United Community Day Care Center, Inc., 613 New Lots Avenue, Brooklyn, 11207
    Distribution on Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sign up for GrowNYCs Fresh Foodbox Program by visiting one of these locations on distribution day:

  • Union Johnson Early Learning Center, 1829 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, 10029
    Distribution on Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hudson Guild Children’s Center, 459 West 26th Street, Manhattan, 10001
    Distribution on Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Belmont Community Day Care Center, 2340 Cambreleng Avenue, Bronx, 10458
    Distribution on Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • 1199 Future of America Learning Center, 2500 Creston Avenue, Bronx, 10468
    Distribution on Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Bishop Sexton Head Start, 933 Herkimer Street, Brooklyn, 11233
    Distribution on Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Ace Integration Head Start, 1419 Broadway, Brooklyn, 11221
    Distribution on Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visit our Farm to Preschool page for more information about the program! 

Attention Harlem residents! The 3rd Annual Literacy Across Harlem March, Book Drive & Community Celebration is scheduled for this Saturday, September 20th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The day’s event schedule is below:

Event Schedule

1 PM - Rally for reading! Your choice: La Casa Azul Bookstore (143 E. 103rd St. between Park and Lexington) or Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Ave. at 156th). Bring (or buy) a favorite book in order to #RockThoseReads (publicly display your identity as a reader) AND a new or like-new children’s book to donate to a Harlem shelter.  

2 PM - Ready, set, go! Guided by knowledgeable community ambassadors past historic reading-related landmarks, enjoy delicious samples from TEN’s Literacy Across Harlem Day partner cafes! 

3 PM - Arrive at Marcus Garvey Park’s Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, in the heart of Harlem, for an interactive, family-friendly community celebration of reading and writing!

For more event details please visit

Stay informed through social media! Visit,, and 

Join us for free cooking and nutrition classes at one of our farmers’ markets! Stellar Farmers’ Markets offer free, bilingual cooking and nutrition classes for adults. All class attendees get free tastings, recipes, and a $2 Health Bucks coupon that can be used at the farmers’ market.

For kids, we offer “Come See What’s Cookin’ KIDS”- another free, bilingual nutrition and food education class. At each class, kids (and their caregivers) get to taste the featured recipe and receive a $2 Health Bucks coupon. 

For more information, please visit and search “farmers markets.” To schedule and adult or kids’ workshop at a participating market, please email (and put “Schedule Workshop” in the subject line). 


Yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of the Brooklyn DPHO, Dr. Aletha Maybank and Assistant Commissioner of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, spoke at the Brooklyn Knows HIV Testing Initiative’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) workshop. The MOU workshop brought together Brooklyn Knows partners to discuss how they can more effectively create MOUs to expand the reach of the Brooklyn Knows HIV Testing Initiative. 

Brooklyn Knows is one of the largest HIV testing efforts in the country. This initiative aims to test Brooklyn residents who have never been tested for HIV and link HIV-positive individuals to quality care and supportive services. Over 85 community partners joined the Initiative in the first year alone and the list continues to grow. These partners share similar goals to:

Goal 1: Provide a voluntary HIV test for every Brooklyn resident who has never been tested.

Goal 2: Identify undiagnosed HIV-positive persons in Brooklyn and link them to care.

Goal 3: Make HIV testing a routine part of health care in Brooklyn.

For more information about Brooklyn Knows, please click HERE. 

Attention Brooklyn residents! Please read NYC Health’s statement about three cases of meningitis that have been reported among men who have sex with men. Click HERE for more information about meningitis.


The Health Department is currently investigating a cluster of invasive meningococcal disease - commonly known as meningitis - among HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Three cases of meningitis have occurred in Brooklyn and Queens since August 24, with the last two cases reported in the last three days. Meningitis is a severe bacterial infection that has a high fatality rate. A previous outbreak of meningococcal disease among men who have sex with men ended in February 2013 after 22 cases were reported, including seven fatal cases.

Text VAXALERT to 877877 for meningitis vaccine information and updates.

Attention Harlem residents! NYC Health has partnered with GrowNYC to bring their Food Box to the Union Johnson Early Learning Center located at 1829 Lexington Ave.

Every Tuesday, GrowNYC delivers $10 boxes of farm fresh food to the early learning center. The photo above shows some of the items you can get in your fresh food box!

Parents, caregivers, and community members can sign up at Union Johnson Preschool. Those who sign up will pay for the box one week before they pick up their delicious box of seasonal fruits and veggies. 

Also, EBT and Health Bucks can be used to purchase the food box! Cash, credit, and debit are also accepted. 

For more information about the Food Box program, email or call 212-788-3581.


Have you ever wanted to lead your own group exercise class? Now you can!

NYC Parks and Recreation presents: Fitness Instructor Training Program

This comprehensive 10-week training program followed by a 6-month internship leading your very own Shape Up NYC class will give you hands-on experience to prepare you for a nationally accredited certification exam!


West Bronx Recreation Center

1527 Jesup Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452

Saturdays from 3-5:30pm

Starting October 4, 2014

McCarren Play Center

776 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Saturdays from 9:15-11:45am

Starting September 27, 2014

McDonald Field House

775 Forest Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10310

Wednesdays from 5-8pm

Starting October 1, 2014

Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center

232 West 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

Thursdays from 6-8:30pm

Starting October 2, 2014

Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center

93-29 Queens Boulevard, Queens, NY 11374

Tuesdays from 6-8:30pm

Starting September 23, 2014

To apply please complete an application at:

Qualifications: Demonstrated interest in fitness, including current participation in group exercise classes.Prior exercise instruction experience preferred, but not required.

Cost: $60 for fingerprinting and background check. NYC Parks recreation center membership required.

For membership pricing, visit:

Please apply by August 31, 2014

For questions or help with the application, please e-mail

This afternoon, Assistant Commissioner of the Brooklyn DPHO, Dr. Aletha Maybank along with Assembly Member Walter T. Mosley launched a community lactation room, located right in Assembly Member Mosley’s Brooklyn district office. 

The lactation room is part of Brooklyn’s very own Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone—a unique public health initiative to support women and families in breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone draws upon the strengths of community organizations, residents, and local leaders to collectively provide families with the tools they need to succeed in breastfeeding. 

This event celebrates August as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and this week as being the second annual Black Breastfeeding Week.

For more information about breastfeeding, visit or call 311.