In 2013, Hester Street (HST) partnered with SMART University, a community-based organization run by and for HIV+ women, to gather community input on the design and programming of a Mobile Cooking Classroom. When completed, this “kitchen on wheels” will help SMART address the poor access to healthful foods and the lack of nutritional information within their community in East Harlem and the South Bronx. The Mobile Cooking Classroom is a project that won funding through the Participatory Budgeting process and Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito’s office.

HST led a series of visioning sessions with SMART to gather information from residents of Community District 8 about the kinds of programs and resources they need most, and how to make them widely accessible. HST compiled the results of this process into a Capital Campaigns Package that SMART then used to advocate for funding the build-out of the Mobile Cooking Classroom.