COMMUNITY-LED INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY AND GUN VIOLENCE
New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. represents the 10th Senate District, which encompasses Southeast Queens. The community that he represents has historically faced high levels of food insecurity and gun violence, and these issues have sharply increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Sanders engaged a team to provide recommendations for implementing a community-led initiative addressing both food insecurity and gun violence in District 10. The team conducted research on the current state of these issues in Southeast Queens, produced a literature review of pertinent surveys and initiatives that have been implemented nationwide, and carried out a needs assessment of the community. The team’s analysis included designing and administering a community survey and conducting in-depth interviews with local community leaders and other programs to assemble best practices. In response to its findings, the team compiled a comprehensive action plan with recommendations for community-led initiatives to reduce food insecurity and provide meaningful opportunities for residents of all ages.