News Release

CUNY SPH awarded 2 grants to support public health programs on CUNY campuses

Grant and Award Announcement

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

New York - The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) Foundation has announced two new grants to launch and expand programs that focus on improving the health and wellbeing of CUNY students.

The Levitt Foundation has joined forces with CUNY SPH and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute (the Institute) to launch the Young Adult Food Justice Fellowship, a three-year initiative to offer continued training and opportunities for participation in food-centered civic engagement to 22 young adults who are current or incoming CUNY students. The Levitt Foundation focuses its funding on youth-powered food justice for children and youth living in the five boroughs of New York City. This partnership will create a pipeline to careers and higher education for young adults ages 18 to 25 who acquired food justice experience in their teen years. Incoming CUNY students in two 18-month paid fellowships will benefit from academic and experiential learning opportunities, internships, and mentoring by peers, faculty, and staff. The Fellowship will be based at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, located at CUNY SPH, and directed by Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health

"We are excited to launch this initiative with the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and CUNY SPH," said Barbara R. Greenberg, Executive Director for the Levitt Foundation. "CUNY students are an amazing resource. Their commitment to our city is unparalleled and they are the perfect audience to benefit from this fellowship. Having worked with Dr. Freudenberg and the Institute before, we are enthusiastic about expanding our partnership to benefit food justice education in CUNY."

Applications for the Youth Adult Food Justice Fellowship are due by October 16,, 2019 and the program will begin in January 2020. Interested students should visit to learn more.

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation has expanded its support of food security programming on CUNY campuses by launching a two-year investment in the Healthy CUNY program. In partnership with the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice based at Temple University, the Petrie partnership will bring together CUNY faculty, staff, students, and administrators to create a comprehensive plan to make meaningful reductions in food insecurity among CUNY students. The project will look to strengthen capacities among existing CUNY food security programs, assist eligible students to apply for food-related benefits, and disseminate results throughout CUNY and other universities seeking to promote food security among their students.

"The Petrie Foundation is one of the greatest benefactors of CUNY students," said Dr. Freudenberg, also Director of the Healthy CUNY Initiative. "Our studies show high levels of food insecurity among CUNY undergraduates and it is known that food insecurity and hunger can make it harder for students to focus on schoolwork or force them to work more. These obstacles can undermine academic success."

"Students deserve the best possible circumstances to achieve their degree," said Beth Lief, Executive Director of the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. "No one should have to go hungry let alone students and their families while students are working hard in college. A student should not have to choose between continuing their education and going hungry. The Petrie Foundation is committed to try to help end food insecurity among CUNY students."

"We are profoundly grateful to the Levitt and Petrie Foundations for their commitment to our school, its mission, and its students," said CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes. "These grants make it possible to translate the mission of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy into direct action on CUNY campuses."

These grants mark a new partnership between the CUNY SPH Foundation and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute.

"We are excited to partner with the Institute to initiate activities that can leave a lasting impact on the CUNY food security system and on individual students," said Adam Doyno, Executive Director of the CUNY SPH Foundation. "These collaborations are the first of many efforts for the school and foundation to have an impact on the health of CUNY students."


About the CUNY SPH Foundation

The CUNY SPH Foundation supports the educational mission of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy by helping to ensure the school has sufficient financial resources to accomplish its goals. With the gifts and grants it receives, the Foundation supports scholarships, emergency needs, and programmatic activities in line with the school's educational objectives.


The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to teaching, research, and service that creates a healthier New York City and helps promote equitable, efficient, and evidence-based solutions to pressing health problems facing cities around the world. Located in Harlem, CUNY SPH is the top ranked public school of public health in New York City, New York State and the tristate region.

About the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute is an academic research and action center at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy located in Harlem, NYC. We provide evidence to inform smart municipal policies that promote equitable access to healthy, affordable food.

About the Levitt Foundation

Incorporated in 1949, Levitt Foundation is an independent foundation. Through its grants, the Foundation empowers New York City children and youth to address food inequities in their own neighborhoods. Informed by the valuable input of the young people, in 2018 the Foundation expanded its vision of food justice beyond funding youth-powered initiatives that increase access to affordable healthy food in low-income New York City neighborhoods.

About the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation's mission is to promote quality education for the more than 1.5 million students who attend public schools in New York City. The Foundation seeks to advance the likelihood that students at the City University of New York and at other notable colleges can survive emergencies and stay in school to finish their degrees.

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