A line of several dozen people form beneath the All Souls Episcopal Church each Wednesday evening in Central Harlem. Though the group varies in ethnicity, age, gender and stature, their faces wear the same fragile expression. Many of them have been homeless for years, some have been formerly incarcerated, and most of them struggle to make ends meet.
However, they know wherever their circumstances have taken them that day, they are can come here to enjoy a nutritious meal prepared by a man who has not given up on them, Daiken Nelson. They’ve come to the Mandala Café, a weekly non-profit kitchen
By Allison Lau, Alexandria Bordas, Zhiming Zhang
Harlem has been locked in a battle against obesity and diabetes for years. In East Harlem alone, the 13th poorest of New York City’s 59 community districts, one in three adults are obese, which is the highest proportion of obese adults in all New York City neighborhoods. The childhood obesity rate is over 23 percent.
The diabetic rates are equally as staggering – 18 percent of adults in East Harlem are diabetic, with most of the cases being type 2 and strongly associated with obesity. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes, all conditions related in part