The Family Health Challenge

If we don’t change the way we eat, half of the children born in the Bronx will have diabetes in their lifetime.

Don’t pay fast food places to make you sick, buy fresh food and cook it at home.

You deserve to be healthy!

These slogans were all taken from a Mary Mitchell Flyer.

Last year, the Mary Mitchell Center started a Family Health Challenge, a campaign to encourage people to eat and be healthy (view the following blog to see some of the rules the challenge included each week).  Each week children, parents and staff added or subtracted something from their to diet. The Challenge went viral. People outside of the center participated. Even our own senator, Gustavo Rivera, joined.

This year, the Mary Mitchell Center decided to take the Challenge a step further. Its goal? To bring healthy and fresh food into the neighborhood.

Over the summer of 2011, four students from Columbia University helped the center put together a food buying agenda. Most of the bodegas and supermarkets in the Bronx do not sell fresh food. Along with the director of the center, Heidi Hynes, the students thought of ways to get fresh food into the neighborhood.

Our purpose was to not only tell people to be healthy but to make it easier  for families to get healthy food, Hynes continued, we adopted most of the ideas from a  food buying club program located in Toronto, Canada.

The program that Mary Mitchell now runs is called La Canasta and it’s slogan is :  Market Fresh Food at Wholesale Prices Delivered to you.

As a member of La Canasta, one can get fresh farm food for only $25 per week. The bag  actually contains $35 worth of food. It is a good deal, but you must be willing to cook!  It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dry beans.

If you are interested in this program contact Heidi Hynes at 917-402-4129 or via email at

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