Video: How This Brooklyn Neighborhood is Putting Healthy Food in Business

A co-op training program in Brooklyn could serve as a model for other cities looking to combat the effects of gentrification for long-time residents.

In this video, journalist Laura Flanders explores ways people in the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn are trying to use co-ops to prevent displacement caused by gentrification.

One issue with gentrification is the high cost of healthy food. “What we found through talking to neighborhood residents and our community partners was that good food is here in Bed Stuy, despite some people calling it a food desert,” says Bianca Bockman, a community health food advocate who designed and manages a program called Communities for Healthy Food. “What’s going on here is that a lot of good food is coming into the neighborhood along with this wave of gentrification, but just like the housing it’s too expensive for the people who have lived in this neighborhood for a long time.”

The solution that Bockman and other Bed Stuy community leaders are implementing is twofold. First, they are working to get healthier food into pre-existing businesses in hope of driving down food costs in the area. Second, they are helping to create jobs so residents have more money to buy healthy food in the first place.

So far the community’s co-op training program has been a success. It's attracted people with a variety of employment backgrounds, and organizers hope an influx of cooperatively owned businesses in the neighborhood will mean more well-paid and reliable employment for residents. The training program could serve as a model for other cities looking to combat the effects of gentrification on a neighborhood's long-time residents.

Video editor and director: Rebecca Scheckman