Newswise — BRONX, NY, December 9, 2021 – Green Bronx Machine is partnering with Danone North America to present the first ever Food for Good Community Event at Community School 55 in Claremont Village, Bronx, NY. This event will provide free Danone North America products, complete with locally submitted, culturally relevant recipes and on-site assistance to facilitate electronic sign-up for SNAP, WIC and EBT benefits, and access to community partners. This event is open to all residents and community members and will also provide all participants with a resource guide created in partnership with NYC Food Policy Center.

Stephen Ritz, acclaimed teacher, founder of Green Bronx Machine, and author of The Power Of A Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools, said, ”We could not be more excited to have Danone North America on board as our first food and beverage partner. Access to both organic and plant-based foods is critical for communities likes ours and we are thankful to Danone North America for providing ongoing access to them along with the education and support critical to integrating them into our daily lives. This is not a hand-out but rather a handshake and a meaningful opportunity to grow a long-term relationship where it is needed most. I could not be more excited to share healthy food and access opportunities with our students, teachers, parents, and community at large. This is the exact type of partnership that aligns to our vision for food access, food justice, health, wellness, and nutrition and I’m proud that Green Bronx Machine and Danone North America are leading the way and setting the bar: from the Bronx, to the world!”

“We are thrilled to be working alongside Green Bronx Machine,” said Terrance Irizarry, chief diversity officer for Danone North America. “Our partnership represents our commitment as a business to create a positive impact in our local communities. We’re excited to launch this project and see how our relationship takes shape in the future.”

Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center Executive Director states: “Green Bronx Machine’s commitment to the health and education of NYC residents is known to all of us in the food justice space. We were delighted to support this project with our resources and knowledge base to help GBM create a user-friendly guide that ensures that every resident can understand, access, and obtain the benefits and services they are entitled to. This hyper-local model meets the community precisely where it is at with the goal of providing access and equity for all. It allows folks to get the services and support they need from already existing and under-utilized resources and puts schools and public education at the heart of our communities – win-win-win. The Food for Good Community Access Event is a recipe for simultaneous access and success.”

In the last year alone, GBM and Ritz have distributed more than 130,000 pounds of food, produced 5,000-plus pounds of produce grown locally in the Bronx, built and stocked three new food pantries, delivered weekly 152 backpacks of food to students and fulfilled more than 1,600 emergency food requests from families in need. GBM and Ritz recently won the 2021 Social Innovation Award, were named 2021 Food Hero by TMZ Live , and were awarded the 2021 Artemis CEA Disruptor Award for impact and advocacy in public schools across America. Ritz was recently called to testify for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ending Hunger in America. To date, Ritz and GBM also have trained nearly 1,500 teachers using GBM’s curriculum, impacting more than 50,000 students in the Bronx, across America and around the world (https://greenbronxmachine.org/2020-impact-report/).

About Green Bronx Machine

Founded in 2011 by Global Teaching Prize finalist and life-long educator Stephen Ritz, Green Bronx Machine (GBM) is an impact driven, for-purpose organization with 501(c)(3) status.  GBM builds healthy, equitable and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, its school-based model and propriety curriculum uses urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators, to grow healthy students and healthy schools.  Simultaneously, GBM also transforms once fragmented and marginalized communities into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving.

For more information, visit https://greenbronxmachine.org.

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About Danone North America

Danone North America is a purpose-driven company and an industry leader in the food and beverage category. As a Certified B Corporation®, Danone North America is committed to the creation of both economic and social value, while nurturing natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Our strong portfolio of brands includes: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, evian®, Happy Family® Organics, Honest to Goodness®, Horizon® Organic, International Delight®, Light + Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious® Dairy Free, STōK, Two Good®, Wallaby® Organic and YoCrunch®. With more than 6,000 employees and 16 production locations across the U.S. and Canada, Danone North America's mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. For more information, visit www.danonenorthamerica.com/. For more information on Danone North America's B Corp™ status, visit: https://bcorporation.net/directory/danone-north-america.

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