Heidi's Healthy Canasta 2023 Campaign
Thank you so much for your wonderful contributions and support of Heidi's Healthy Canasta last year! Since October 2020 your generous donations have totaled over $12,000. We would love to see if we can reach a new goal of $15,000, please help us to reach this goal
Heidi’s Healthy Canasta, formerly La Canasta, is a community-based response to poor food access and rampant diet-based illness in the Bronx. It is a program of the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center, renamed in honor of Heidi Hynes, who was the Executive Director of the Center for over 20 years.
Fresh whole vegetables and fruits are purchased each week from the Hunts Point Cooperative Produce Market. What is purchased depends on availability but most often includes a legume and a grain: rice, whole wheat, corn meal, or oats. We divide it into bags and distribute it to “drop-off sites” throughout the Bronx. The produce in the bag changes from week to week but always contains staples to provide families with equitable access to healthy vegetable-based meals. We do not include meats, dairy products, spices, or oils.
Heidi Hynes, passed away in November of 2019 due to her battle with Colon Cancer. Heidi started the La Canasta program from the ground up with local volunteers and her husband Brian Hynes. She believed that healthy, affordable, and fresh produce was extremely important for families to have access to, especially in the Bronx, where the borough is the last county in NYS to have the highest amounts of health-related Illnesses. Illnesses such as Hypertension and Diabetes can be avoided with a healthy diet. Still, due to the lack of affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables, many families struggle to provide a healthy home-cooked meal on their table. With all of Heidi’s dedication to La Canasta, our organization decided to rename the program “Heidi’s Healthy Canasta” in her memory.
Heidi's Healthy Canasta has a sliding fee scale from $15, $18, and $20 for the bags to help families to afford the bags. Your donation today can go to helping us provide bags to those in need who cannot purchase Heidi's Healthy Canasta due to financial hardship.
If you would like more information about our program please feel free to contact us at [email protected]