In a city of millions, one need not look further than their neighborhood Greenmarket to see anonymity recede, as personal relationships come to the fore. GrowNYC’s 54 Greenmarkets, spread out across the five boroughs, transform outdoor urban spaces into neighborhood centers of sustainability by drawing together regional farmers and city residents, bound by supply and demand for healthy, fresh food. Since 1976, the program has grown from a handful of farmers to over 230 producers, and the number of customers they serve continues to grow.
From our local producers, we’re able to get healthy food into the hands of millions. Access is the focus of 2013 as we bring a variety of programs that work together to blanket the city with increased availability of produce: through the Greenmarkets, EBT acceptance, our Fresh Food Box, Youthmarkets, and Greenmarket Co., our wholesale food distribution venture.
Our producer-only standards guarantee that the farmer you buy your food from is the same person who produced it. Ask him or her how it was grown and where, whether it’s organic or no-spray, how long it will be in season, and how to store and prepare it. Did you know farmer Alex Paffenroth is growing 21 new varieties of potatoes this year? One called Magic Molly has three times the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries!
Greenmarket is constantly striving to improve and expand its scope of services to producers and consumers alike, and this year has seen great outreach efforts. Our market managers visit WIC centers and senior centers to inform recipients how to use their benefits to shop at the market for fruits and vegetables. We partnered with the Food Bank of New York, Met Council, and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger to offer free Food Stamp screenings at market. We partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension and DOHMH Stellar Markets to offer cooking demonstrations and nutrition education in English and Spanish. Our Greenmarket Co. project brings the farmers market to the door of grocers, food pantries, restaurants, senior centers and more. We lead tours of the market for seniors and city school children, because no one is ever too old or too young to learn about where their food comes from – people of all ages and every background deserve to eat well.