Latest Newsletter

We’re proud to end the year with a win for kids! The New York State’s Child Poverty Reduction Act was signed into law this month! The new law is intended to reduce child poverty by 50% over the next 10 years. An advisory council will focus on monitoring benchmarks and establishing policy recommendations. This work will help eradicate poverty for half of the 895,000 children in New York State living below the poverty line. This new law is another example of ways we can continue to prioritize the well-being of kids in our community. Huge thanks to our partners who worked so hard to make this a reality including RMAPI Policy Committee, The Children’s Agenda, and the Schuyler Center for Advocacy and Analysis. We’re excited to end the year with life-changing news for kids and families in Rochester.


Everyone has a right to healthy food. Healthi Kids continues to support collective work to increase access to healthy food and make healthy choices the default choice in our community. To work toward achieving this goal, the Rochester Food Policy Council (FPC) has been established.

This diverse group of individuals will lead efforts to create a healthier and more equitable Rochester food system. The planning team received more than 80 applications from Rochester residents who are passionate about food policy, and after many interviews, selected the first 10 community members to serve on the Food Policy Council. These members reflect the diversity of Rochester and bring to the table a vast array of knowledge and experience.

Click here to learn more about each member of the Food Policy Council.

Is there anything that your kids need to succeed after being out of school for so long?
ROC The Future is looking for 6,000 parents of children between the ages 0 and 18 in the City of Rochester to complete a short survey. The survey focuses on the needs of kids, families, schools and neighborhoods. As partners in the Roc the Future Alliance, we ask you to please share your ideas on what you and your community need to help your child succeed.

Click here to respond to ROC the Future Parent Survey today!

Healthi Kids is committed to supporting families advocating for healthier and safer schools. Studies show that parent involvement is important to how successful kids will be in school. One way we do this is by working with fathers in schools and neighborhoods.

We’re proud to support area fathers and community partners working with the Fathers Initiating Restorative Engagement (FIRE) movement.  This national movement encourages fathers and supportive male figures to be more visible at schools and throughout the community. For Rochester, it’s also a support system for students, teachers, and RCSD school safety professionals.

The Healthi Kids Coalition has developed a set of recommendations to strengthen the Local Wellness Policy of the Rochester City School District. Recommendations were developed by a Healthi Kids workgroup made up of RCSD family leaders and community partners. The recommendations include the following:

-       Ways to improve quality nutrition, physical activity, and social-emotional health for kids

-       How to ensure that every child has access to enrichment opportunities after school and during out of school times

-       Ways the community can support relationship building as a foundation to helping children heal from trauma

-       How to promote inclusive family and community leadership in our schools

-       Advancing policies and funding to support inclusive opportunities for Black and Latino fathers in all learning environments

Click here to view an updated list of recommendations from the Healthi Kids Coalition for the RCSD Wellness Task Force.

PRESS RELEASE: State Senator Jessica Ramos (D,WF-SD13) and Assembly Member Sarah Clark (D-AD136) introduced the Early Learning Child Care Act (S7615 - Assembly number pending) on Friday, bringing their respective experience working on Universal Child Care from the municipal and federal level to overhaul New York State’s child care system. The Early Learning Child Care Act Scales up Ramos’ 2019 bill, NYC Under 3, and focuses on eliminating the parent income cliff, work requirements, and granting providers a living wage.

Click here to read the full press release.

Increasing healthy food access can improve the health of kids and Rochester residents. Not having healthy and affordable food options can result in health complications and disparities. Data show that summer and school breaks are times of the year when the need for emergency food assistance spikes. The Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester recently analyzed data from participation in Summer Meals in 2021. In July, the partnership saw an increase of roughly 1,100 lunches served per day compared to 2020. This means families who participated had one less thing to worry about as their kids had access to breakfast, lunch and/or dinner throughout the summer. With the holiday break coming up, we encourage families to call 2-1-1 to learn more about where they can access food while their children are out of school.

It’s no secret that one of the top items on many kids’ Christmas lists year after year is a new bike. A bicycle is a perfect gift that promotes healthy activities. Having a bike makes it easier for kids and teens to participate in neighborhood programs, attend activities at recreation centers, or simply to play. ROC Freedom Riders will gift neighborhood kids and teens a brand new bicycle starting on Christmas day and throughout January 2022. Parents and other adults can nominate a kid to be randomly selected to receive a brand new bicycle this holiday season.

Click here to learn more about the holiday giveaway and to nominate a kid or teen ages 5 to 17.

Related Stories

Bringing technology home for the holidays – Spectrum News, December 21

TikTok school threats prompt call for parents to talk to kids: Here’s how - Rochester First, December 16

New Rochester day care helps parents fill child care gaps – Spectrum News, December 1

Operation FIRE set to bring support to RCSD students, staff – 13 WHAM, November 20

Under 15% of 5 to 11-year-olds in New York are fully vaccinated – Rochester First, November 18