Affiliations:Tisch Community Health Prize
Dr. Samuels is Founder and Executive Director of Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger. She is known for her grassroots efforts to address hunger, poverty, and health in the Brooklyn communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill and Brownsville, an area that constitutes a “food desert” where access to healthy and nutritious food is limited. As a result, many residents suffer from obesity and related chronic diseases. Kathy Armstrong, Board member and Vice President at Banco Popular who nominated Dr. Samuels, noted that she and the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger “…led the early response to these troubling poverty and nutrition-related health problems with a wide range of successful initiatives, particularly a community garden program that attacks these issues from all angles.”
Her work has made dramatic strides in helping eliminate hunger and food insecurity in Central Brooklyn, and she provides some of our city’s neediest citizens with good nutrition, improving their health and overall well-being. New York City is one of the richest cities in the world, but food poverty and nutrition–related poor health is around every corner.
While Dr. Samuels helps to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition, the Selection Committee was most impressed by the extent to which her organization has gone beyond the traditional role of a food pantry—offering education on health-conscious food choices, food preparation techniques, exercise and healthy lifestyles to a client base that is nearly a quarter diabetic. Her vision, resourcefulness and grassroots activism made her an ideal recipient of the inaugural Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize.
- Website: Dr. Melony Samuels / Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger
- Prize Awarded: 2011