31 - New York, NY
"We do more than just deliver food. We feed, educate and advocate for nutrition. We're delivering fruit to areas where many people have never tasted blueberries or pears before. I'm very personally invested in this work. It's incredible to be out on the streets and watch someone eat a vegetable for the first time. It's more than just providing good; it's touching communities, teaching them core things about nutrition and showing them how to make good choices because they are worth it."
As a child Gina Keatley experienced poverty and homelessness. She spent time living in a low income area where she noticed her neighbors were nutritionally deprived. It was these personal experiences partnered with her interest in nutrition and cooking that sparked her interest in the connection between poverty and obesity. Gina worked as a chef for 10 years and graduated from New York University with a degree in nutrition. Volunteer work was always an important part of Gina's life and so it was a natural transition to turn her expertise into a not-for-profit organization called Nourishing NYC.
Nourishing NYC is a community food program that strives to achieve "nutrition for all" in New York City. Their mission is to alleviate the strong correlation between low-income status and poor dietary health. Nourishing NYC served 13,538 meals in 2010, which was an increase of almost 400 percent from the previous year. On Thanksgiving Day alone, 2,136 meals were served. Four thousand pounds of produce were distributed in diabetic and obese communities in 2010, this year they have already provided 24,000 pounds in Harlem and the Bronx thanks to their V.A.N. (Vehicles Advocating Nutrition) Initiative. In response to the number of requests they receive from other communities
trying to implement a similar program, Nourishing USA launched on September 17 delivering more than 100 kits of food in the month of October, totaling 50,000 meals. That's why Gina is a 2011 Woman of Worth!