Greening New York Communities
This year, we collected our first harvest from the rooftop farm we built on Via Verde, the modern housing project in the South Bronx. PS 43 and Neighbors Together food pantry enjoyed 1,000 pounds of organic herbs, vegetables, and flowers.
Water quality & Conservation
We’ve installed 7 new rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems this year, bringing the City’s RWH system collection capability to over 1 million gallons. Students learned about the importance of clean water and a healthy urban environment by participating in 19 restoration projects. They planted more than 3,250 trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants along or near 7 bodies of water.
Sustaining Local Farms
FARMroots provides business, financial, legal, and marketing support for Greenmarket farmers as well as finding and training the next generation of regional farmers. In its first year, FARMroots has established an advisory board, developed a needs assessment application, compiled a database of pro bono and low cost assistance, and forged partnerships to leverage additional resources.
EBT: A National FOOD STAMP Model
Since first accepting Electronic Benefits Transfer at three markets in 2005, EBT sales have increased 80,000%. 50 markets accepted over $800,000 in EBT sales this year. Our program is now a national model for operating EBT at farmers’ markets and increasing access to fresh produce in under-resourced communities.
Less Full Landfills
In 2012 our food scrap compost program expanded from 7 to 21 Greenmarkets, thanks to a partnership with the City of New York, the NYC Department of Sanitation, and community partners. More than 40,000 food scrap ‘donors’ have participated and we have diverted nearly 1 million pounds that would have otherwise gone into landfills.
We partnered with Wagner MS in Manhattan and NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin to develop Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools. Under one roof, we are programming seven discrete GrowNYC programs. For an entire year, our staff is educating young people about how to lead lives that improve their personal health and that of the environment around them; so that eating, growing, learning, and going green become second nature.
Expanding Reach: Bigger Scale Sales
Through Greenmarket Co., farmers can sell regional produce at wholesale volumes. Greenmarket Co. has developed relationships with 16 wholesale grocers, distributed over 10,000 cases of locally-grown produce to more than 80 customers, developed in-store branding for regional products, and, with $140,000 in sales to-date, has far exceeded projections. Our Youthmarkets gave more than 60 teen employees job experience and small-business skills as they distributed over 90,000 pounds of Greenmarket Co. produce to underserved neighborhoods of NYC.