NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s the day that many of us pledge to make positive choices.

In one Brooklyn neighborhood, a number of community organizations came together to help people get a jump start on a healthier new year.

Bundled up with their babies, families in Brooklyn filled the lobby of the Coney Island Cathedral for a fresh start in more ways than one.

“What better way to kick off 2020 than eat healthy,” one person told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.

Families line up at the Coney Island Cathedral for free healthy foods. (Credit: CBS2)

“I’d like to lose some weight,” Anna Perlov added.

Perlov was there for herself and her mom, who has diabetes. She couldn’t believe all the fresh veggies packed in the bags — given for free to those in need. She admits eating healthy can be hard.

“It’s just faster to go to McDonalds or Burger King. It shouldn’t be hard but it is,” Perlov added.

“You gotta get used to it, once you get used to it, it becomes second nature,” other person added.

“We gave away over 100 bags today,” community activist Steven Patzer said.

Organizers filled the bags to the brim with perfect looking produce for a neighborhood that needs help year round.

A free bag of healthy groceries to start the new year is extremely welcome in a community like Coney Island, where the poverty rate is about 25 percent.

The hope is no matter what people can afford, it will promote a better lifestyle.

“A lot of people were grateful and said ‘you know what, I’m gonna try this,’” Patzer said.

While inspiring kindness in the year to come.

In addition to the high poverty rate, organizers say nearly 30 percent of people who call Coney Island home are struggling with obesity.


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