SoBro awarded McDonald’s grant for nutrition outreach

A healthy meals cookbook is in the works for a nonprofit staple in the south Bronx, and it has the Golden Arches to thank.

The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBro) received a $5,000 grant from McDonald’s first-ever New York Metro Nutrition Network, operated solely by franchisee’s.

“We picked the organization for promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Peter Sahama, one of the judges and franchisee of four McDonald’s eateries in the Bronx.

In a borough with a leading high rate of obesity, Sahama said available nutrition information is vital in curbing the percentages.

“The whole thing is about balance and having self-discipline,” said Sahama. “Being educated helps.”

The 40-year-old nonprofit applied for the grant in March.

Along with Sahama, several nutrition and nonprofit experts looked over SoBro’s community outreach and its financial need. SoBro fit the bill, according to judges, who won the grant over 130 Bronx groups competing for it.

Sahama saw the numerous applicants as a sign groups are pushing to expand nutrition programs.

“There’s a big need out there for people to receive help,” said Sahama.

Anthony Scari, who heads McDonald’s New York Tri-State Owner/Operators Association, agreed.

“More than ever, McDonald’s is committed to supporting these efforts,” said Scari. “We look forward to the work these organizations will perform for their constituents.”

Along with publishing a cookbook, SoBro will also use the funds for a fitness walk set for October.

Launched in March of this year, the Nutrition Network is the latest McDonald’s campaign to advocate for nutrition, according to Sahama.

“The good thing about McDonald’s is it has no problem changing,” said Sahama. “And the consumer wanted us to change.”

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or [email protected].

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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