Community Overview

Imagine being able to drive straight through a community in a total of four minutes. There is one large intersection in the town that will either bring you to Main Street, the grocery store, 3 gases stations or up the hill to the country side of the community. This small town is home for around 7,000 individuals where everyone knows everyone and you are most likely related to at least 2 people in the grocery store when you go. This is where I grew up and still currently live. I graduated from Ravena, Coeymans Selkirk (RCS for short) High School in 2016 with 120 students and I mostly could tell you all their names. My community is the Town of Coeymans. This is a place I love, this is where I grew up, this is the place my whole family is located. I am at least five minutes away from all my aunts, uncle, cousins and grandparents. I consider myself fortunate to be able to go to high school and play sports with almost all my cousins. This is somewhere that I will always call home. However, I have realized that the overall health of my community is challenged by the resources that are available in my community. I have noticed that they are limited.

When talking about the overall health of the community it is important to look at the environment of the community. Important questions to ask when determining a community’s overall health are: Are there adequate food resources? Are there proper green spaces in the community? Is there a high or low crime rate? Is there a place to exercise? Are there adequate housing and transportation? All these factors work together to provide the members of the community with proper overall health. After learning these ideas and looking into my community, I have noticed that my community lacks resources in two key areas revolving around health, first being access to proper foods and then transportation/location. 


Food Resources

In my community there is one grocery store in the area. It is just a standard grocery store with standard goods. It has produce, meats, deli, dairy, baking and frozen sections with some variety. It is by no means a bad grocery store, however, if you are someone with dietary restrictions like gluten free, dairy free, or vegan there are very limited options which then in terms causes individuals to resort to processed or unhealthy options. Though there is a standard grocery store within my community many individuals and families are faced with the problem of expenses. Being the only grocery store in our community the prices are more expensive than at a grocery store like Price Chopper or ShopRite, which are around a twenty minute drive away. Having the local grocery store increase their prices then leaves lower income individuals to buy unhealthy cheaper processed foods located in one of the three local gas stations. Access to fresh fruits, vegetables, high protein foods, no additive or alternative goods is a key component to how healthy a community is. I would say that our community does not have proper access to most of these items unless they have transportation to a store further away.



I have noticed that there are not many modes of transportation that leave my community. There once used to be a bus route to the Ravena shopping center (Route 813), however, after doing some research the route is no longer in service. Today’s mainstream transportation like Uber usually doesn’t have cars around the area to bring me to my destination. If someone around here did not have any means of transportation themselves it would be awfully difficult for them to travel to where they need to be because there are no transportation outlets around here. This is a huge health concern of mine for my community. With no means of transportation and no access to proper health care services like a doctor, hospital or dentist the members of my community do not have access to proper healthcare. 

Putting this transportation issue and expensive food options at the local grocery store together. I would say that my community’s chance of overall health is not the best. I think the first thing that should be done to make sure that our community’s health doesn’t get worse and to potentially increase health is to get a better mode of transportation to stop in the town of Coeymans. By doing this it will open a lot of options for individuals that do not have a means of transportation. Individuals will be able to go to doctors appointments, the dentist, or even grocery stores with lower prices and more healthy options. 



With the current COVID-19 situation that our nation is in today I began to think about how it is affecting my local community as well. By exploring my communities overall health I became concerned mainly by the lack of transportation we have here during this time. If an individual wanted to get tested for COVID-19 but had no car to get them to a testing location they are stuck. One would somehow have to find a way to get to the city of Albany which is located around 20 minutes away to get tested. Transportation was another concern of mine when our local grocery store sold out of daily household products and certain food like chicken because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, with lack of transportation then causes individuals to buy unhealthy non-perishable foods. Unhealthy food was not my only concern. My main concern was not having enough food or daily household items. If our local grocery store was sold out how would someone with no transportation be able to get these products at a cheap enough price to keep their family safe and healthy during this pandemic. One of the only resources that I was able to find that could provide families with healthier food options and some daily household items during this pandemic is the local food pantry that is located at St. Patrick’s Church on Main Street in Ravena. 

4 thoughts on “My Community Overview”

  1. It is crazy how different our towns are. In my town you can get anywhere via public transportation. This shows that public transportation where I live is taken for granted. Many people use it to get to their doctor appointments . This shows that transportation is truly a factor that impacts ones access to health care.

  2. I really enjoyed reading about your community, Bailey! Coming from a suburb close to Boston and having many grocery stores in my area, I can’t imagine how different it must be to rely on just one that is close by. As most grocery stores in my area have been running low on essential items for weeks, I’d imagine people are traveling even further than Albany to buy the things they need.

  3. I think this is a great perspective that you’ve taken. I can feel the love you have for your hometown and how you just want what is best for your community. Does your community ever host a farmer’s market or anything? That seems like it could be a good way to get healthy food and build off of the strong sense of community!

  4. I really like how you started off with a description of your community– I think it helps a lot in understanding why there might be limited resources, since the community is so small. Hopefully more resources pop up in the future!

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