Schools play a key role in building healthy habits. For neighborhoods like East Harlem, where challenges like poverty and lack of access to healthy foods put residents at higher risk for diabetes, hypertension and obesity, schools are a vital resource. That’s why the Health Department and FPHNYC collaborated to bring the ¡Buen Provecho! — Eat Well program to schools and communities that need it most.
FPHNYC worked with the Health Department to raise support for this innovative program. ¡Buen Provecho! provides nutrition education, promotes healthier habits, boosts parent engagement and secures access to fresh fruits and vegetables for East Harlem residents. Together, we successfully won a three-year grant for $1,536,000 through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Building healthy habits with kids and parents
¡Buen Provecho! — Eat Well’s unique feature is a nutrition education program focused on both students and caregivers. It consists of two parts:
- The Breakfast Club, which is led by school staff and parent association leadership at parent breakfasts, and
- Eating Healthy for Success, a Department of Education-approved, common core-integrated curriculum for pre-K through first graders that is led by teachers. Students are taught about healthy eating while caregivers are empowered to make smart dietary choices for their families.
With Buen Provecho, every time I get new information, I love putting in practice with my son what I learned that dayParent participant
¡Buen Provecho! — Eat Well also helps with efforts to reduce diet-related diseases within the community. The program started in 2015 and is still going strong, with marked growth in parent attendance. Both student and parent lessons strengthen family connections and highlight the importance of healthy eating. The program prides itself on empowering and engaging community members while creating a sustainable model.
Working together to support healthy choices
FPHNYC serves as grant manager, overseeing subcontracts with GrowNYC and reports to the funder. We also help with program operations planning, financial reporting, hiring, and evaluating yearly budgets to ensure the program stays on track.
Looking ahead, ¡Buen Provecho! — Eat Well will focus on making sure both students and families keep learning about the foods they need to be healthy, strong, and ready to learn each school year.