What does it look like to help almost a quarter of the New York City residents living in lower-income communities with limited access to healthy food retail? Poor nutrition and rising rates of heart disease created concerns for the American Heart Association in New York City, so it set out to advocate for city funding for heart health and healthy food retailers.
"The individuals who are directly impacted by passing these policies have a role to play. And the role has to be integral. It can't just be a token effort. You can't find a spokesperson and put them in front of a microphone and anticipate the effort is going to check off a box. You need to be focused on building a trustworthy relationship," said Robin Vitale, Vice President of Health Strategies at the American Heart Association in New York City.
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