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Young people are an untapped force for public health and food justice movements. In fact, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic many young adults have risen to the challenge and demonstrated that they have the ideas, energy, and passion to lead in fighting hunger in their communities and fill the gaps in our disrupted food systems and supply chains. This virtual public forum from the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute brings together a panel of inspiring guest speakers who will share their unique experiences and discuss the role of youth in fighting food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will be of interest to anyone willing to learn more about how to empower youth to lead, especially during crises and in times of hardship, and why it is crucial to amplify their voices and invest in New York City’s future generation of food justice leaders. Some of the questions we will discuss include: What kinds of food security initiatives have young adults developed or supported since the start of the pandemic? What factors have been key to the success of such initiatives? What are some of the major challenges and untapped opportunities that young adults have experienced while serving their communities? How can the city best support youth-led initiatives so that they continue to exist in the long run? What advice do young food security leaders have for other young New Yorkers willing to be involved in alleviating hunger and increasing access to healthy, nutritious food? To hear answers to these questions and more, join us on October 28th.

Guest Speakers

  • Bill Fink, Associate Executive Director for Development & External Affairs, SCAN-Harbor
  • Wendy Flores, Environmental Program Facilitator at the Brotherhood/Sister Sol
  • Maya Marie, Assistant Farm Manager & Food Education Coordinator @ KCC Urban Farm
  • Stephen Ritz, Founder: Green Bronx Machine


  • Charita Johnson James, Director of Youth & Community Development at CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
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