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Dr. Melony Samuels Honored for Work With Bed-Stuy Campaign for Hunger

Source: C. Zawadi Morrisof Bed-Stuy Patch

Local community organizer is recognized for her work in introducing innovative and educational programs that improve clients’ health and combat obesity.

Dr. Melony Samuels, founder and executive director of the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, received the inaugural Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize yesterday, a $10,000 grant.

The Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, provides food and social services to more than 10,000 needy New Yorkers each month.

The newly established prize was presented to Dr. Samuels, along with the Union Settlement Association of Harlem, by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab in recognition of their “inspiring work in building healthy communities in New York City,” said Laurie M. Tisch, president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and a contributor to the grant.

The distinguished award will be administered by the Hunter College Foundation and is earmarked for a not-for-profit organization and individual for distinguished accomplishment in the field of urban public health.

“Through their innovative programs and services, they have demonstrated a commitment to addressing urgent needs and creating access and opportunity in Bedford-Stuyvesant and East Harlem,” said Tisch.

In 1998, Samuels launched a small emergency food program, and eight years later she moved the much-expanded operation to larger quarters. Under her leadership, the program had grown into a supermarket-style center, the first of its kind in Brooklyn, which last year served approximately132,000 clients.

“I deeply appreciate the selection committee, the Tisch family and the people at Hunter College for providing us with this tremendous recognition,” said Dr. Samuels.

“All of the people involved with our organization share this tribute, including our hard-working staff and volunteers, the organizations that help us put food on our shelves and most of all, the children, seniors and adults who depend on us for nutritional support.”

The Campaign’s mission is to end hunger by distributing food and empowering families through information and support, which will give both strength and dignity to the community.

Through Dr. Samuels’ efforts, she has introduced innovative educational programs that range from cooking classes to a community garden to improve clients’ health and combat obesity.

The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize is a component of the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project, based at Hunter College and made possible with a five-year grant of over $1 million from her children, Steven Tisch, Laurie M. Tisch, and Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch.

All of us at Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger thank our many friends and neighbors for your unwavering support of our programming and staff. In honor of this award, choose to be our Virtual Neighbor by:


  1. BEE’ing Against Hunger
  2. Donating A Cup of Sugar
  3. Hosting a Block Party

Thank You for Your Support!