The Harlem Food & Fitness Consortium is an alliance of coalitions, faith based groups, businesses, government, healthcare providers, non-profits and community-based organizations whose mission is to foster healthier lifestyles and environments for East and Central Harlem and its residents.


1. Serve as an information clearinghouse for physical activity and nutrition resources for East and Central Harlem organizations and residents.
2. Advocate for the enforcement and creation of healthy policies.
3. Facilitate connections and collaboration among consortium members and the
community, and
4. Identify gaps in services and resources and fill them.

Social Marketing Sub-committee Goals:

1. Recruit new organizations and individuals to join the Harlem Food & Fitness
2. Promote the missions and activities of the food and fitness sub-committees.
3. Make the case that there is a public health state of emergency in East & Central
Harlem related to affordable/healthy food choices, obesity and diabetes that only a
public health social movement can resolve led by the Harlem Food & Fitness
4. Develop an identity for the Harlem Food and Fitness Consortium.
5. Develop marketing messages and vehicles that create demand for healthy food
products and physical fitness experiences for Harlem residents.

Work Plan Areas of Action:

1. Build organizational base of consortium
2. Promote program activities of the food and fitness sub-committees
3. Create state of emergency throughout NYC about the Harlem health situation
4. Help plan May 2007 Consortium kick-off event
5. Develop Consortium identity
6. Create and roll out demand management marketing messages & vehicles

Performance Objective 1: Build organizational base of consortium- To achieve the strategic goals of the consortium, the membership must expand ten-fold to build a social movement to impact the consciousness and behaviors of all Harlem residents. By May 30, 2007, the consortium will add ten new organizations to its base. Representatives from the new entities will join the steering, food, fitness and social marketing sub-committees. By September 30, 2007, fifteen more organizations will join and participate in sub-committee activities.

Action Steps:

1. By March 20th 2007, Mario will have reached out to the ten Head Start agencies in East and Central Harlem and will recruit at least three onto the Consortium.
2. Barbara is a board member of Little Sisters of Assumption and will ask the executive director to send a representative to our next general meeting 2/14/07.
3. Amira and Roger will reach out to their contacts at DC-37, NYCHA and 1199 National Benefits Funds to recruit new members onto the Consortium.
4. Maria will reach out to Mexican immigrant organizations in East Harlem.
5. Debbie and Roger will contact Domingo Vasquez and Bishop Snipes.
6. Roger is responsible for reaching out to CHHR.
7. Leadership from the steering, food and fitness committees will be encouraged to add base building objectives and tasks to their work plans.
8. The steering committee will be charged to develop a recruitment letter and send it to targeted organizations throughout East and Central Harlem.
9. Phone follow-up work will commence to recruit twenty-five new organizations to the Consortium.
10. All press releases and public service announcements will invite individuals and organizations to join the Consortium.

Performance Objective 2: Promote activities of food and fitness committees-The
current base of food and fitness organizations are fragmented and there are no central
promotional vehicles to alert the East and Central Harlem residents that these
services are available and free. By May 30, 2007, the social marketing sub-
committee will have developed at least two vehicles to promote the collective
existence of these organizations and the work of the fitness and food committees.

Action Steps:

1. Maria and Amira will continue to attend food and fitness committee meetings to learn more about their work activities and ask them how they want their work promoted.
2. A creative team made up of Carly, Mario and Roger will review the work plans of both committees and work with their leadership to develop a few drafts of flyer and poster concepts to promote their work in East and Central Harlem.
3. Drafts of these promotional vehicles will be submitted to both committees for final editorial review.
4. A desktop publisher will be secured and a cost up of the work will take place.
5. Ten to fifty thousand of the promotional vehicles will be mass produced.

6. The sub-committee will devise a distribution plan utilizing the consortium membership for distribution.
7. The final drafts in pdf format will be distributed over the Internet to thousands of Harlem residents and community-based agencies.
8. A similar plan will be developed to promote the work of the organizations who are members of the Harlem Food & Fitness Consortium.

Budget: Desktop Publishing: $500.00
Printing: In kind

Performance Objective 3: Create state of emergency throughout NYC about the Harlem obesity/food crisis- If the consortium does not create a sense of urgency or state of emergency concerning the health status of East & Central Harlem residents throughout NYC there will be no mass movement created to transform the situation. The mindset of Harlem and NYC residents must be transformed to create the political will that will spur direct action where systems, government, private sector and individual change will occur. By December 31, 2007, the political climate in Harlem and throughout NYC will be transformed where the conditions of obesity, fitness, healthy food choices/access, and diabetes will be addressed. We hope to create a political climate where the issues above become the number one public health and political issue in New York City.

Action Steps:

1. A creative team made up of Benjamin, Barbara, Leon and Carol will develop a mock message statement that will communicate the latest statistics on racial disparities in East & Central Harlem related to obesity, diabetes, exercise and food access that covers the following themes: a. What is the problem? b. How severe is the problem in East & Central Harlem? c. Who is suffering from the problem? d. What has been done to date to resolve the problem? e.Where are the gaps in service and what is the ongoing need? f. What are the specific Consortium programs that will attempt to resolve the problems and how much will it cost?
2. Once the three-page case statement is completed Carly, Mario, Roger and Debbie will develop press releases, public service announcements that amplify the messages above to the media, public officials and community organizations.
3. The steering committee will review the case statement and press materials before they are sent out to our press contacts.
4. All sub-committee partners will computerize their media contacts and a consolidated media listing will be created by April 1, 2007.
5. About four clients will be contacted to obtain their written approval to be used as human interest stories that highlight the message themes outlined above.
6. Press releases will be sent to targeted media contacts and sub-committee members will share in the work to complete phone follow-up work to secure print stories.
7. Guedy, Dr. Vargas, Dr. Frank, Dr. Vangelpuran and Evelina will serve as a speaker’s bureau ready to speak at radio talk shows, and television news shows over the next ten months.
8. The sub-committee will utilize it contacts to write and post letters to the editors starting with the Harlem Community News, Daily News, New York Times, Harlem Times, Amsterdam News and New York Post.

9. The sub-committee will organize a series of press conferences before the Consortium’s May 2007 kick-off event, at City Hall before the city budget is finalized and a back-to-school press conference focusing on the problems and solutions to the fitness, food access and obesity crisis in Harlem by September 2007.
10. Promotional work will continue during the summer at Harlem Week, Harlem Health Revival Health Fair and the Harlem Parade. One hundred thousand flyers will be developed and distributed during the above events.
11. Sub-committee members should consider developing a direct mail campaign, creating a website, organizing demonstrations to broadcast the above message system throughout the Harlem community and to the powers that be in the media, government, the private and public sectors. The objectives of this work is to heighten awareness about the problem, transform public opinion and further political, community and individual long-term action to resolve the crisis.

Performance Objective 4: Assist in planning kick-off event- The May 2007, kick-off event will be the Consortium’s first public event to educate and mobilize the East and Central Harlem communities to address the problems of affordable/healthy food access, fitness and obesity. If the event is planned correctly, it could jumpstart an entire movement for change in our community. By May 30, 2007, the kick-off event will have occurred where five hundred community residents will attend to give their input to achieve the mission of the Consortium.

Action Steps:

1. The leadership of the social marketing sub-committee will attend steering committee meetings to begin the planning process for the kick-off event beginning after February 15, 2007 to April 30, 2007.
2. The committee will develop a theme, headline, programmatic activities, cultural performances, decide on sponsorships, venue, and audience projections that will occur either at one major event or a series of events that will take place throughout East and Central Harlem.
3. Once the steering committee decides on a programmatic focus, the social marketing sub-committee will take these ideas and develop a mass flyer, (English & Spanish), press packet, direct mail letter to mobilize the East and Central Harlem communities to attend the event.
4. Once the messages and vehicles have been decided on, sub-committee members will be charged with getting the message to market by reaching out to print and electronic media contacts, completing door-to-door distribution of flyers, mailing out direct mail letters to community-based organizations and businesses throughout the community.
5. An email run will take place where all Consortium members will email the mass flyer to their individual and organizational contacts.
6. Contacts at the Mayor’s office, Speaker Quinn’s office, the new Food Policy Coordinator, Mr. Benjamin Thomases and local City Councilpersons and other state and federal elected officials will be contacted to attend the kick-off event.

7. Consortium members will take advantage of their contacts at the major NYCHA housing developments throughout Harlem to promote the event door-to-door.
8. Sub-committee members will begin to post themselves starting in April 2007 at major subway stops as Harlem residents return from work and give them flyers alerting them about the event.

Budget: The steering committee will develop an operational budget for this event that will allocate funds for venue, cultural workers, printing, desktop publishing, advertising, etc. All attempts will be made to secure in kind support for this event.

Performance Objective 5: Develop Consortium Identity- If the Consortium is to achieve its strategic goals, it must establish an identity, value propositions and communicate graphically a message that differentiates its purpose and work in the market of social service and healthcare entities. The Consortium will need a logo, by-line, letterhead, and graphic concepts that establish it’s identity in East and Central Harlem and throughout New York City. Once this identity is established, all Consortium organizational members will be associated with this identity as they market their local work in the community. This objective can be achieved on or before the May 2007 kick-off event.

Action Steps:

1. Carly, Mario, Leon, Barbara, Ben, Debbie, Maria and Roger will contribute questions to develop a brief interview schedule that will be used to probe the minds and hearts of a random sample of Consortium members from each committee. The objective is to catalogue member ideas about what the Harlem Food and Fitness Consortium should be about. At the end of the day, the above committee will determine what are the motivations, soul, essence and graphic representation of this coalitional effort.
2. Once the results of the qualitative intervention is tabulated, the above creative team will develop three to four advertising concept statements that represent the recurring themes that were produced from the sample.
3. A graphic artist or desktop publisher will then begin to work with the creative team to develop four or five drafts of the logo concepts. The creative team will develop by-line themes that relate to each logo concept so that both constructs will be integrated.
4. Logo drafts with corresponding by-lines will then be presented before members of the steering committee to obtain their input into the creative process.
5. Two concepts will be selected to build up to scale on poster board for final selection by the steering committee.
6. Once the by-line and logo are selected they will be used on all communications vehicles (flyers, letterhead, poster concepts, web-site, press release, etc.).

Budget: Creative time: In kind
Desktop Publisher: $1,000
Mass Printing: In kind

7. Performance Objective 6: Create and roll out demand management marketing messages & vehicles-To achieve the Consortium’s strategic goals, a massive marketing campaign must be developed within the East and Central Harlem communities that will slowly transform the mindsets and behaviors of residents to purchase healthy foods, move and exercise more often and manage their various chronic diseases. This campaign must respect the various differences in culture and lifestyle of community residents but challenge them to incrementally make healthier food and fitness choices. Our charge is to develop and roll out this campaign by March 31, 2008 which will coincide with the work the other two committees are implementing to address the question of food supply and expand the number of fitness opportunities in the community.

Action Steps:

1. Consortium steering and social marketing sub-committees will meet by September 1, 2007, to decide on the public health and marketing objectives of this qualitative study.
2. The team above will decide on the number of focus groups that will be held to make sure we obtain the opinions of a representative sample of East and Central Harlem residents considering class, ethnicity and neighborhood variables.
3. Once the number of focus groups have been decided on, Barbara, Carly, Mario and Carol will be charged to develop a group interview schedule where a number of questions will be proposed to interview respondents to begin to answer some of our marketing and public health questions.
4. The first draft of the guide will be reviewed by the full steering and social marketing sub-committees for edit and approval.
5. The social marketing committee will secure group facilitators, venues, complete marketing assignments to screen and recruit respondents, purchase food and have cash on-hand to pay respondents.
6. Each facilitator will summarize their findings within a written focus group report that will be reviewed and approved by the steering committee by November 30, 2007.
7. A creative team made up of Carly, Roger, Ben, Mario, Maria, Leon, Guedy and Amira will take the results of each focus group report and begin the hard work to develop marketing concepts for a poster campaign that will identify audience types, behavior and mindsets we want to transform, headline, body copy and graphic elements. About seven to ten marketing concepts or advertising statements will be developed to motivate Harlem residents to eat healthier, manage their diabetes, move and exercise more often.
8. All ten marketing concepts will be presented before the entire Consortium to secure feedback and encourage open discussion about the effectiveness of the book.
9. Based on the above work, four concepts will be selected by the Consortium to work up to scale on poster board to be presented once again to the Consortium membership for final approval.
10. Once approval is secured, the four concepts will be mass produced and a distribution plan will be developed by the social marketing subcommittee.

11. Roger will contact print shops at the NYCDOH/MH or Mt. Sinai to finalize print job by January 30, 2008.
12. Dr. Goodman will contact NYCDOH/MH marketing unit to see how our poster concepts can be queued up in the department’s roll-out system for mass placement at subway stops, bus shelters and throughout public spaces in East and Central Harlem.
13. Posters will be mailed to all businesses, food stores, community organizations throughout East and Central Harlem.
14. The social marketing committee will develop a marketing surveillance system to measure the effectiveness of the campaign’s reach to slowly change consciousness and behavior of Harlem residents to improve their health. The NYC 311 Help Line will play a significant role in measuring the impact of the marketing campaign on the target audience. Committee members will also monitor supermarket, bodega and fitness program purchasing and enrollment data to measure the impact of the campaign.
15. After the poster campaign messages are tested, the core messages will be edited and be transformed into marketing vehicles, like radio announcements, brochures, flyers, Internet and print advertising, direct mail, etc.


Focus Group Organizing: $18,500
Creative Design Services: $ 6,500
Mass Printing: $In kind

This plan is now in your hand colleagues. If we implement the tasks as outlined above, the health of Harlem’s residents will improve over time and the issue of healthy food choices/access, fitness, obesity and diabetes will become a priority among community residents and civil society. The time for talking about the problem has come to an end. The time for thoughtful action has begun! Please keep in mind that this work plan is a draft and we expect feedback, revisions and new tasks to be added to this work scope. The budget projections are tentative until we obtain more feedback from committee members. All roads lead to improving the health and fitness of Harlem residents. All that we have is our souls!


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