WORKING GROUP MEMBERS
COMMUNITY LEADER INVOLVEMENT
THE WORKING GROUP AND SUBGROUPS
The Working Group formed the core guiding voice for Hunts Point Forward. It included 20 local community leaders, such as Hunts Point community groups, business owners, and residents that have been involved in Hunts Points for decades. They partnered with the project team to develop a guiding vision that shaped both the engagement process, the resulting recommendations, and pathways to implementation. They ensured that a broad range of participants took part in the planning process, worked with the project team to facilitate open and transparent conversations with the community, and ensured that the resulting recommendations formed a cohesive strategy that will provide real solutions to area challenges.
Bronx Community Board 2
Bronx Community Board 2 (CB 2) serves Hunts Point, Longwood, and parts of Morrisania. CB 2’s motto is “Continuing to Triumph in the South Bronx,” which is representative of CB 2’s work past and present to ensure safety to its community members as well as their health. The Board’s mission is “being devoted to the public safety, health and wellness of the entire community district” and have been major partners to HPLCC and several planning efforts throughout the district including the 2004 Hunts Point Vision Plan.
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association (Banana Kelly) was founded in 1978 to advocate for the maintenance of Hunts Point’s affordable housing stock and to provide workforce development in the neighborhood. Now Banana Kelly offers a wide variety of services such as access to affordable housing, community organizing, rental assistance, youth engagement, teaching English as a second language and more. Banana Kelly sponsors 1,240 housing units and has sponsored the redevelopment of more than 2,240 housing units, including 5 buildings with 188 units on the Hunts Point peninsula. Banana Kelly’s internal and external decision-making process is informed by its Resident Council, a group of community members past and present, which is empowered to advocate for the needs and interests of South Bronx residents.
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education
Founded in 1934, Casita Maria, a member organization of HPLCC, was the first charitable organization in New York City dedicated to serving the city’s Latino population. Although Casita Maria began its operations in East Harlem in the 1930s, the organization is now headquartered on Simpson Street in the Bronx where the organization continues to serve Latino youth and their families. The organization seeks to support and empower their community through experiences and programs that focus on culture, art, and education.
F&F Supply (F&F) was founded in 1941 as a wholesale distributor of hardware and building maintenance equipment. F&F is a fifth generation family business currently operating out of a fifty-five thousand square foot warehouse in Hunts Point.
Greater Hunts Point EDC
The Greater Hunts Point EDC (GHPEDC) was founded in 1988 to serve the Hunts Point industrial zone. The organization is also an HPLCC member. Since its founding, the GHPEDC has worked to “improve the quality of life for businesses and residents in Hunts Point” and adjacent neighborhoods “through advocacy, technical assistance and training.” Recently, the GHPEDC became an affiliate of UHP as UHP’s mission has expanded beyond healthcare to include community development. The GHPEDC also provides workforce development to support the local industrial and food distribution sectors in partnership with Project HOPE.
Founded in 1970, GrowNYC is an environmental organization dedicated to helping improve New Yorkers’ quality of life. GrowNYC’s programs include farmers markets, fresh food boxes and youth-run farmers markets, recycling resources, community and school garden support and environmental education. GrowNYC is currently undertaking the construction of a 60,000 square foot cold-storage facility in Hunts Point, the New York State Regional Food Hub (The Hub), which will expand GrowNYC’s wholesale distribution of food from local farms. The Hub will improve access to fresh affordable food in Hunts Point and in other low-income communities throughout the city, while providing another stream of income to regional farms. It is anticipated that The Hub will distribute 20 million pounds of food annually and that GrowNYC will be able to expand from accommodating 60 local farmers to 150 regional farmers. Construction on The Hub began in March 2021 and is projected to be completed within 18 months.
The HOPE Program (HOPE) was founded in 1984 by a PhD student at Columbia University who sought to help the individuals she served at a soup kitchen with their resumes and interview skills. HOPE evolved to offer more support to acknowledge the ongoing and diverse needs of impoverished New Yorkers. HOPE’s green jobs workforce development program, part of the Sustainable South Bronx initiative, is located in Hunts Point. This job training prepares individuals for careers in green infrastructure through a combination of classroom learning, hands-on experiences, and pursuit of industry- approved certificates.
Hunts Point Alliance for Children
Another HPLCC member, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC), was founded in 2007 with the goal of improving educational attainment among Hunts Point youth. HPAC works with Hunts Point children and parents from birth all the way to the age of 24. HPAC works to help parents gain stability, while implementing a “community-to-career” approach for their children. The program utilizes a multigenerational approach to foster pathways out of poverty for Hunts Point youth. HPAC participants have higher rates of school attendance, higher literacy scores and better chances of graduating from high school and continuing to college. HPAC is also known in the community for their Annual Back-to-School Fair, the Storefront Ensemble Program, and their Shakespeare Ensemble Program. HPAC also leads the Hunts Point Community Partnership (HPCP) – an alliance of Hunts Point schools and CBOs that directly support children in the community. In February 2020, HPCP released a strategic plan that identified (1) building social capital to improve families’ access to and participation in programs and services and (2) increasing family and caregiver access to early child development services, particularly for mental health & behavioral issues as strategic goals.
The Hunts Point Cooperative Market
The Food Distribution Center’s Hunts Point Cooperative Market (also known as the Meat Market) includes over 50 merchants who supply meat and meat products to the five boroughs, region, and nation. The Meat Market covers almost forty acres of land and is composed of 6 refrigerated freezer buildings which encompass over 1 million square feet of cold storage. With close to 2,400 employees on site, the Meat Market, which opened in 1972 in Hunts Point, plays an important role in the local community.
Hunts Point Produce Market
The Food Distribution Center’s Produce Market (the Produce Market) occupies over 1 million square feet and is home to over 30 merchants, making it the largest wholesale produce market in the country. Two-hundred-and-ten million packages of produce are re-distributed through the Produce Market annually at the Produce Market from near and far. The produce distributed through the Produce Market serves wholesalers, retailers, grocers, and restaurants. The Produce Market has already coated 30,000-square-feet of its facility’s roof with white paint as part of the city’s NYC Cool Roofs program, which will help reflect sunlight and reduce surface temperatures in Hunts Point during the warmer months.
Il Forno Bakery
Il Forno Bakery is a wholesale, family-owned bakery started in 2005 by Roman Eduardo, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Il Forno hires most of its employees from the surrounding Hunts Point community to produce its handmade European-style breads. It is anticipated that Il Forno will open a retail location in The Peninsula, a development on the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Facility.
Jetro/ Restaurant Depot
Jetro Cash and Carry Enterprises (Jetro) was founded in 1976 as a wholesale grocery supplier. In 1990 Restaurant Depot was founded as a wholesale restaurant supplier, becoming a division of Jetro in 1994. Both Jetro and Restaurant Depot were founded in New York City but have since expanded regionally and nationally. Both Jetro and Restaurant Depot serve small businesses through their cash and carry model which allows businesses of all sizes to pick up the products they need with no order minimums. During hurricane Sandy, Jetro lent its refrigerator space to the bodega-owner community who had lost power during the storm and stood to lose significant money without consistent refrigeration. More recently, Jetro funded the benches that line the greenway in Oak Point.
The Krasdale Group (Krasdale) started as Krasdale Foods in 1908 as a wholesale grocery supplier. Since 1972, Krasdale has been in Hunts Point. Krasdale supplies supermarkets throughout the Northeast and services over two thousand five hundred independently owned supermarkets. Krasdale recently committed to building the largest solar rooftop project in the Bronx. The community solar project will create enough clean energy to offset 5.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually and will provide clean energy to the surrounding community and at a reduced cost to eligible area residents.
La Peninsula Head Start
La Peninsula (La Pen) is a community-based organization that offers childcare and early childhood education to vulnerable children in the South Bronx. La Pen has long offered services through the federally funded Head Start program, which promotes school readiness to children between the ages of 3 and 5 years and their families. La Pen has four Head Start locations across the Bronx, that focus on the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of their students as well as educational processes, language development and general knowledge. La Pen’s Hunts Point location is on Manida St. and Spofford Ave.
Neighborhood Self Help by Older Persons Project (NSHOPP) is a Hunts Point-based non-profit organization founded in 1980, that now serves over 10,000 older adults, caregivers, and other Bronx residents annually. NSHOPP empowers older adults by using a self-help philosophy to cope with financial, physical, emotional, and social challenges that arise as people age. NSHOPP has 35 locations across the Bronx. Beyond the guiding principles of self-help and mutual assistance, NSHOPP also strives to help older adults age comfortably in place.
Omni New York LLC
Omni New York LLC (Omni) is a real estate developer founded in 2004 working to provide affordable housing to historically underserved communities. Although Omni is headquartered in New York City, they manage and own 17,000 units of affordable housing across eleven states. In 2017, the New York Housing Conference named Omni the 2017 Developer of the Year. Omni acquired the OLR MM Apartments in 2010, which represented the addition of one- hundred-and forty-three affordable units in Hunts Point and Concourse Village to the Omni portfolio. In 2015, Omni acquired the Hunts Point Apartments, a Project Based Section 8, one hundred- and sixty-eight-unit property in Hunts Point.
THE POINT CDC
THE POINT CDC has been serving the Hunts Point community for over 25 years and is a member organization of HPLCC. Since its founding, THE POINT CDC has prioritized community involvement in its work to drive investment into Hunts Point and revitalize the neighborhood. THE POINT CDC, which has won numerous awards for its work over the years, is dedicated to furthering environmental justice, arts, culture, and community development. THE POINT CDC‘s flagship programs include Be-A-Buddy, Village of Murals, Community Wi-Fi and Digital Stewards, while their advocacy work supports local parks, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and ACTION, a youth leadership program whose name stands for Activists Coming to Inform Our Neighborhood. THE POINT CDC also supports various campuses.
Real Life Church
Real Life Church is an Assemblies of God church located in Hunts Pointthat was founded and is still led by Pastors Reggie & Ibelsa Stutzman. In 2017, Pastors Reggie and Ibelsa also founded The Prodigal Center, a non-profit food pantry and provider of gently used clothing that serves as an outreach extension of Real Life. The Center, located in a former auto repair shop on Tiffany Street, offers fresh produce, canned goods and free clothes for men, women, and children, as well as other essentials that become available from time to time. The Prodigal Center's focus is to "do whatever we can for those in need."
Rocking the Boat
Rocking the Boat is a non-profit science education organization, founded in 1996, located in Hunts Point Riverside Park. The organization serves young people through hands-on experiences building and rowing wooden boats and through sailing and environmental restoration of the Bronx River. Rocking the Boat aims to help its participating young adults stay in high school, enroll in trade school or college and develop technical and soft skills.
Teamsters Local 202
Teamsters Local 202 (Local 202) was originally chartered in 1916 in lower Manhattan to represent the produce workers at Washington Market. Now Local 202 represents 4,500 workers primarily at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, but also within other industries across the New York metropolitan area. Local 202 offers scholarships to the children of Local 202 members for higher education.
Urban Health Plan
Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a member organization of HPLCC and a federally qualified community health center that was founded in 1974 by a local Bronx-based physician, Dr. Richard Izquierdo. Dr. Izquierdo’s daughter, Paloma Hernandez, is UHP’s current President and CEO. UHP has 12 health centers across New York City, one mental health center, 12 health centers in schools and an additional three part-time clinics. While UHP’s centers serve the South Bronx, Corona, Queens, and Central Harlem, most of their health centers are in the South Bronx, with a particular emphasis on serving the Hunts Point community. UHP provides high-quality, affordable, primary and specialized care, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, with a focus on immigrant and emerging communities. The Bella Vista Community Health Center on Hunts Point Avenue specializes in dental, optometry services and family practice medicine, while also offering other medical services, including but not limited to psychology, and podiatry. The Bella Vista sister location, also on Hunts Point Avenue, specializes in integrated health care and social services for patients identifying as LGBTQ. Just across the Bruckner Expressway, UHP offers medical care specifically for teens and young adults, which offers routine wellness care as well as reproductive healthcare and mental health screenings and referrals in the Longwood neighborhood.
A PERSONAL HISTORY OF HUNTS POINT
INTERVIEW WITH MARIA TORRES
Co-founder and President & COO of The POINT Community Development Corporation.
The mission of The POINT CDC is to encourage the arts, local enterprise, responsible ecology, and self-investment in the Hunts Point community. The POINT CDC is located in a former bagel factory and provides performance art space, visual art galleries, after-school programs, summer camps, circus classes, and community improvement programs. The POINT CDC's motto is defined as its "theory of change": "People in the community create the community in which they want to live."
—Paloma Hernandez, Urban Health Plan