GrowNYC Celebrates 50 Years of Earth Day

April 22, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC | Tagged Earth Day

On this day 50 years ago, 20 million people across the country joined together to fight for a better future for our environment in what became the first Earth Day. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC), now GrowNYC, was born out of the spirit of that day in 1970. 

CENYC was initially a policy-based organization, writing comprehensive reports about quality of life issues like air pollution, traffic, and noise. Our city has changed a lot since then and so have we. As the largest and most established environmental organization in NYC, we are proud to have played a pivotal role in helping New York City transform over the past five decades. 

Now, 3 million New Yorkers each year participate in our programs. We envision a New York in which every New Yorker can flourish. Every garden. Every school. Every street. Every neighborhood. Every borough. 

As we all do our part to stay home and stop the spread of the coronavirus, there are still many ways you can have a positive impact on the environment: 

We believe collective actions make a difference. Together we can create a city and a planet that are sustainable and resilient for generations to come. 

Happy Earth Day!

GrowNYC COVID-19 Response

April 21, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, GrowNYC has responded swiftly to the needs of our community.

Deemed essential businesses, we quickly reconfigured our 80+ food access sites to keep them open and safe for shoppers, producers, and staff. ​We are working with community partners to deliver free Fresh Food Boxes to low income New Yorkers who are undocumented, unemployed, or struggling in high need neighborhoods. Additionally, we have been building out distance learning resources to continue to support educators and the general public as learning spaces move remote.

For 50 years now, GrowNYC has been a resource for all New Yorkers who want to improve quality of life and protect the environment. You can continue to rely on us for access to fresh food, education, green spaces and more.

Thank you for your support and stay safe.
Marcel Van Ooyen

GrowNYC Greenmarkets, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box Sites Map and Schedule

GrowNYC's 80+ open-air Greenmarket locations, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box locations are crucial to the 250 regional farmers and producers who sell through them, as well as to the hundreds of thousands of New York City residents who rely on the them as an essential source of fresh, healthy food.  Eighty-five percent of our farms report that they would not be in business if not for the ability to sell directly to New York City shoppers.

As always, SNAP/EBT is accepted at all GrowNYC Greenmarkets, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box locations. 

Collections at all food scrap & clothing drop-off sites are cancelled until further notice.

Farmers Markets are Essential Businesses

Farmers markets are open as essential retail busineses while New York State is on P.A.U.S.E. 

GrowNYC Schedule Updates 

View real-time updates on market closures and GrowNYC program schedule changes, and follow us on social media.

GrowNYC Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory

Many Greenmarket producers are offering a variety of ways to purchase their products, from allowing customers to pre-order and pick up at a market, to direct home delivery and shipping products from their online stores.

All of that information is available in one place at GrowNYC Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory

COVID Guidelines - Market Safety for Shoppers 

We encourage you to please adhere to the following safety protocols to protect yourselves, your fellow shoppers, and our Producers and their employees. 

  • Wear a face covering inside the market space
  • Maintain a 6' distance between yourself, Greenmarket staff, farm stand employees, and other customers
  • Try to keep your market shopping trip as quick as possible
  • Do not bring your dogs or bikes into the market space
  • Limit your party to 1-2 people and split up to finish shopping quickly
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Do not pick up any products or produce at the farm stands, ask an employee to help you
  • If you sneeze or cough, do so only into a tissue (and immediately dispose of it) or into the crease of your elbow
  • Thoroughly wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • If hand washing is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash all produce thoroughly before using it
  • Regularly wash your reusable produce bags
  • Be patient, and kind--we're all in this together 

COVID Guidelines - Market Safety for Producers and Market Managers

We are, and have been since the beginning of COVID-19, in constant contact with city health officials, and we continue to follow their guidance. 

Most of our markets are currently operating, though for safety reasons and in consultation with health officials and other market operators, we have implemented the following best practices: 

  • Dramatically increasing the footprint of our markets to allow for shoppers to be be able to a maintain a healthy physical distance between each other
  • Adding additional chalk//tape lines to keep shoppers at least six feet apart
  • Requiring all market shoppers, staff, and Producers to wear a face covering
  • Assigning additional GrowNYC staff on the ground to regulate customer flow and ensure physical distancing
  • Allowing only Producers and their staff may handle products. Customers must not touch any produce or products until after they have purchased
  • Separating farm stand spaces with at least 10 feet of distance between the tents, more where possible, to reduce congestion
  • There is no sampling of products at markets until further notice
  • There is no selling of apple cider by the cup
  • All Producers must wear protective gloves
  • All farm stands must use vinyl or plastic table covers for easy sanitizing
  • All producers need to be sanitizing their stands regularly, primarily wiping down tables, terminals, cash boxes, etc.
  • Reminder notices to farmers about proper food handling will be provided
  • All GrowNYC staff and Producers must stay home if they are sick
  • All staff processing credit/debit/snap transactions must wear protective gloves
  • We will provide additional hand sanitizers at our market manager stations

Emergency Food Resources

Information about free meals, food pantries, SNAP enrollment, cash assistance, Medicaid, and food delivery assistance available here.

Additionally, GrowNYC is working with community partners to deliver free Fresh Food Boxes to low income New Yorkers who are undocumented, unemployed, or struggling in high need neighborhoods.

Distance Learning Activities and Resources

Due to school closure and social distancing measures, our Education Programs are currently not operating our Zero Waste and Food & Nutrition programs in schools, School Garden workshops and giveaways, Greenmarket tours or Teaching Garden field trips. In the meantime, we've developed a Distance Learning resource page for educators, families, and students of all ages, including our Virtual Teaching Garden, where you can keep up with planting and projects at our Teaching Garden at Governors Island and explore related activities you can do at home.

Recent Press

Bklyner, Food Carts and Trucks Struggle While Farmers Markets Soldier On Under Coronavirus Conditions
Bloomberg, Farmers Markets are a Lifeline to Growers Hurt by Coronavirus 
Boston GlobeCoronavirus Should Shift Our Focus to a More Locally Sourced Food Supply
Brookings Institute, Farmers Markets are Vital During COVID-19, but They Need More Support
CBS New York, Coronavirus Update: NYC Farmers Markets Open With New Safety Guidelines
Eater, NYC’s Farmers Market Can Be a Calming Oasis of Socially Distanced Grocery Shopping
Food & Wine, How to Shop Safely at the Farmer's Market During the Coronavirus Pandemic​
GoopUnion Square Greenmarket
NBCFood Sellers Enforce Social Distancing to Protect Shoppers
NY1How Food Markets Adapt Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic
Pix 11How to Keep Social Distancing at Farmer's Markets
Secret New YorkMost NYC Greenmarkets are Still Open, Here are Their Rules for Shopping Safely
Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Greenmarkets to Remain Open with Precautions in Place
TelemundoMercados al Aire Libre en NYC Siguen Ofreciendo Servicio Pese a Cuarentena
The New York Times, Why Outdoor Farmers' Markets Matter More Than Ever
Time Out New YorkNYC Farmers Markets Stay Open with Strict New Social Distancing Protocols

GrowNYC Needs Your Support 

For nearly 50 years, GrowNYC has made it easy for New Yorkers to take everyday actions that benefit the environment. Serving over 3 million New Yorkers every year, our programs encourage all citizens to lead mindful lives, like eating seasonally and locally, conserving resources, and preserving green space. Please consider a donation of any amount, we need your support now more than ever. 

GrowNYC COVID-19 Schedule Changes & Resources

March 31, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC

If there are changes to GrowNYC programming or operations due to COVID-19 this blog post will be information central for up-to-the-minute schedule changes.

GrowNYC Greenmarkets and Farmstands
Most Greenmarkets and some Farmstand locations are open and operating on schedule, changes to the schedule are listed below. Follow us on social media (links below) or GrowNYC's Union Square Greenmarket app for real-time updates about Union Square.

Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory
Many Greenmarket producers are offering a variety of ways to purchase their products, from allowing customers to pre-order and pick up at a market, to direct home delivery and shipping products from their online stores. All of that information is available in one place at GrowNYC Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory 2020

CLOSED GREENMARKETS & FARMSTANDS:
Greenmarket at the Oculus
Bowling Green Tuesday & Thursday Greenmarket
Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday Greenmarket
City Hall Park Tuesday & Friday Greenmarket
Staten Island Ferry Tuesday & Friday Greenmarket
Tribeca Wednesday Greenmarket
Lincoln Hospital Farmstand

Monday, April 13: Union Square Greenmarket Closed (due to weather)

Food Scrap Drop-Off and Clothing Collection 
Collections at all food scrap & clothing drop-off sites are cancelled until further notice.
Sign up for Food Scrap Drop-Off Alerts
Read our blog post - How to Keep Composting in NYC during COVID-19

GrowNYC Fresh Food Box

Open

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: Tuesdays, 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 1:30 pm - 2:30pm

 

Project H.O.P.E.: Wednesdays, 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm

 

Uptown Grand Central.: Wednesdays, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

East Harlem Health Action Center: Thursdays, 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 1:30 pm - 2:30pm

 

Bed-Stuy (at Peaches, 393 Lewis Ave):
No longer accepting new participants; join our waitlist
Saturdays, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Suspended Hunter College
Brooklyn Army Terminal
1 Centre Street
Department of Health


Volunteer Orientations
All GrowNYC volunteer orientations have been postponed until further notice. 

Student and Adult Tours and Field Trips 
All scheduled adult market tours and DOE school field trips are officially cancelled until further notice

GrowNYC Farmer Assisstance
POSTPONED: Farmer Assistance La Nueva Siembra Business Training Course
CANCELLED: Eastern New York Farmworker Master Class and Blueprint Racial and Social Justice Training at Soul Fire Farm

GrowNYC Wholesale
GrowNYC Wholesale (formerly Greenmarket Co.) is operating and providing wholesale distribution to our customers and partners.

Follow us on social media or the app for real-time updates:
GrowNYC Facebook // Instagram
Union Square Greenmarket Daily List of Producers in Attendance // Union Square Greenmarket App
Manhattan Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Queens Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Brooklyn Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Staten Island Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Fresh Food Box Facebook
Farmer and Producer List and Social Media Links

Farmers Markets Deemed Essential Businesses

March 24, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC

Dear GrowNYC Greenmarket Community,

Many of you have heard recent calls by elected officials to further increase social distancing at parks and other outdoor gathering places. Be assured that GrowNYC is committed to implementing stringent social distancing at our food access points; it is a vital action everyone must take in our shared efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Also please know that the safety of our customers, our staff, our farmers – and all New Yorkers - remains our number-one concern during this extremely difficult time. These are not just words. We have taken (and will continue to take) decisive action to create the safest places to access fresh produce. We have been ahead of the curve. Our current protocols are being used as a model for farmers markets across the nation.

To give just a few examples, we have already banned the public from touching produce, and we require that only gloved farm staff handle the selection and bagging of products. We’ve discontinued product sampling and reconfigured our markets, barricading food from direct public access and dictating additional space for social distancing. (A full list of our current food safety and social distancing protocols, as well as those we are in the process of implementing, are listed below.)

And, with the support of the city, we are doing more each day to increase social distancing. This includes spreading our farmer tents further apart; taking over additional public space to expand market footprints; increasing safety signage; and redeploying staff from our other programs to enforce social distancing. We are working hard on all of these and other safety protocols. In fact, GrowNYC is temporarily pausing (for two days only) its Greenmarket operations until this Wednesday, March 25, 2020. During this time, Greenmarket staff will prepare additional measures we can take to ensure your safety, as well as that of our farmers and staff.

While it may be easy to confuse our essential operations at parks and other public spaces with non-essential public activities that have been prohibited or discouraged, it is a simple fact that people must eat -- even in a crisis, especially a crisis that has shuttered many usual food access points.

Healthy, fresh produce is more vital today than it ever has been. For example, our markets process over $1 million in SNAP/EBT (formally known as food stamps) and Health Bucks (a city SNAP incentive program) each year, as well as $2 million in Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers, which serve WIC recipients and seniors. These programs are only redeemable at farmers markets like Greenmarkets and cannot be used online or at grocery stores. (Go here for more information on these programs.)

It is important to note that under Governor Cuomo’s recent Executive Order, food outlets like our Greenmarket Farmers Markets and GrowNYC’s other food access outlets are designated as an “essential business.” (A copy of the governing language is copied below, and the full Order can be found here.)

We are in constant contact with state and city health officials, and we continue to adapt and modify our operations. We believe that open-air farmers markets, with transparent chains of custody, reduced travel times from farm to table, and proper safety and social distancing, are critically important places for the public to access the food they need. And we are making them safer and better each day.

Our farmers and staff appreciate the outpouring of support that we’ve received over the past several days on social media regarding our intense efforts to keep our markets open as a way for New Yorkers to get fresh, healthy food during this crisis. We’re also taking note of all concerns that have been expressed and folding them into our evolving safety measures and policies.

These are difficult times for everyone. It’s important that we all support each other and treat each other with respect and kindness.

Thank you for your support in these challenging times.

We invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns at info@grownyc.org.

 

Stay safe and be well.

Marcel Van Ooyen

President/CEO GrowNYC

 

GrowNYC’s/Greenmarket’s Safety and Social Distancing Protocols:

In addition to the already implemented safety protocols listed below, we are planning further safety measures. At all markets where we have the ability to spread out (down a sidewalk or into other adjacent vacant space), Producers’ tents will be separated at least 10 feet from one another. For those markets where this is not an option (like the Union Square Greenmarket), we will reconfigure markets and limit the number of customers shopping at any given time. At all markets we will provide clear demarcations to keep shoppers at least 6 feet apart, and we will engage additional staff on the ground to help customers and Producers navigate these new systems.

Already implemented safety protocols:

  • Only Producers and their staff may handle products. Customers must not touch any produce or products until after they have purchased (as mentioned above)
  • Market staff will separate farm stand spaces with at least 2 feet of distance between the tents, more where possible, to reduce congestion
  • There is no sampling of products at markets until further notice
  • There is no selling of apple cider by the cup
  • All Producers must wear protective gloves
  • All farm stands must use vinyl or plastic table covers for easy sanitizing
  • All producers need to be sanitizing their stands regularly, primarily wiping down tables, terminals, cash boxes, etc.
  • All GrowNYC staff and Producers must stay home if they are sick
  • All staff processing credit/debit/snap transactions must wear protective gloves
  • We will provide hand sanitizer at our market manager stations

Please respect our market staff on the front lines and the farmers behind the stands who are coming into the city to feed us.

Governor's Executive Order

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22. Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIESincluding any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Business," means:

4. Essential Retail, Including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer's market
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

GrowNYC Fresh Connect Food Box Funding & Training Opportunities

February 20, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC | Tagged Fresh Food Box


Out of an abundance of caution due to the current situation with COVID-19, GrowNYC has decided not to hold our Fresh Connect Fresh Food Box Training as an in person event on Tuesday, 3/24.  We are currently working to evaluate whether we will be able to hold an online training on Tuesday 3/24, or whether we will reschedule the training completely.  We will notify you as soon as possible about our updated plan for the training.  If you would be interested in attending an online training, you may wish to hold that time on your calendar from 1:30pm – 5pm on Tuesday 3/24 for now.

GrowNYC is happy to announce our Spring 2020 Fresh Food Box Training.  This free training is for nonprofit organizations interested in operating their own Fresh Food Box wholesale buying club for fresh, high-quality, local foods at below-retail prices. Customers pre-order bags one week in advance on the designated distribution day, and the next week pick up their Fresh Food Box share. Each share contains 6-10 seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as information on how to store and prepare the produce they’ve received.

This training will cover:

  • How to source farm-fresh foods in wholesale volumes via Greenmarket Co., GrowNYC's local food distribution program
  • GrowNYC's Fresh Food Box best practices that can be adapted to meet the needs of your community
  • Resources including manuals, order guides, and recordkeeping documents to help you operate a successful Food Box site

In order to operate a Fresh Food Box, organizations need the following capacity:

  • 6-10 staff hours per week (for distribution, program administration, promotion, and bookkeeping)
  • Accessible distribution location with good foot traffic
  • Storage space for equipment (folding tables, tents, etc.)
  • Some organizations may be eligible for $10,000 in funding from the New York State Department of Ag and Markets to support the operation of your Fresh Food Box site. For more information, click here.

If your organization or community group meets the above capacity guidelines and wishes to operate your own food box, please join us!  Please kindly fill out the google form.

 

A Letter from GrowNYC

December 8, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC

Dear Community,

An employee of GrowNYC's FARMroots program recently received a demeaning, racist, and hurtful note in response to a newsletter acknowledging the important contributions made by Latinx individuals to US agriculture. I write today to firmly denounce this behavior, and unequivocally state that it has absolutely no place in our community.

As an organization that brings New Yorkers together across all of our programs, from Swaps to community gardens and our Greenmarkets, GrowNYC is appalled by the current level of comfort individuals have expressing hate speech. Moreover, we have the responsibility of ensuring our employees’ dignity, safety, and rights.

Accordingly, any member of our community who harbors racist or hateful beliefs like these should consider themselves unwelcome.

COMPLETE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

There’s so much work for us to accomplish together in this incredible city of ours. Here’s to doing just that.

Marcel Van Ooyen
President & CEO
GrowNYC

Announcing GrowNYC's Year End Campaign

September 27, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC | Tagged Support, holiday, Giving, End of Year, GrowNYC

For nearly 50 years, GrowNYC has been scaling individual actions to create a massive collective impact on the environment through our food access, environmental education, zero waste, and open green space programs. Serving over 3 million New Yorkers every year, our mark on the city covers every borough including Governors Island, half the city's public schools, and into NYC's greater agricultural region.

GrowNYC is HERE for the long run.

And we are dreaming bigger than ever, digging our heels into the ground in the face of global climate change and determined to amplify a movement powered by people.

Help us take your investment in your community to the next level. Make a gift before January 1 to participate.

GrowNYC Eco Hour: Back to the Farm 9/11

September 3, 2019

Join us for GrowNYC Eco Hour: Back to the Farm on Monday, September 11 at Project Farmhouse for drinks, local snacks, a live DJ and green conversation.⁠

We'll be digging into what's lighting a fire under a new generation of farmers. Featuring Yemi Amu of Oko Farms, Jacob Okam of The Campaign Against Hunger, Jason Slibeck of Sly Fox Farm, and GrowNYC's own Chris Wayne and John Johnson. Music will be courtesy of Caroline Shadood.⁠

Tickets available now at: https://ecohour_farm.eventbrite.com. Your first 2 drinks are included with admission. Bring friends, make friends, and join the conversation!

 

When: Monday, September 11 6pm-10pm

Where: Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street, New York, NY 10003

 

Seasonal Jobs at GrowNYC

May 22, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC

GrowNYC Seasonal Jobs
Thank you for signing up for GrowNYC's Seasonal Job Fair. As a follow-up we want to make sure you have all the information you need to apply for a job with GrowNYC, our farmers, and/or our partners.

GrowNYC Job Opportunities
All GrowNYC job opportunities get posted here and more will be added in the coming months.

Greenmarket Farmers
Greenmarket farmers hire for their individual farm stands and on their farms. Listings are here and there's also a Facebook page.

GrowNYC Partners Seasonal Jobs
NYC Department of Health
The NYC Department of Health is hiring part-time Nutrition Educators, Culinary Educators, and Bilingual Educators (Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese speakers) to provide Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Stellar Farmers Markets (JSY SFM) nutrition education and food workshops at farmers markets serving low-income New Yorkers. The goal of JSY SFM is to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by building knowledge and skills about healthy eating.
Stellar Farmers Markets Nutrition Educators
Stellar Farmers Markets Culinary Educators
Stellar Farmers Markets Bilingual Educators (Bengali, Mandarin/Cantonese, Spanish)
To receive more information, please email Margaret at mdunncarver@health.nyc.gov.

Wearable Collections
Wearable Collections is a NYC based company focused on keeping clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills since 2004. We are seeking applicants who are self motivated,
team oriented, courteous and friendly to join our team. We are looking for individuals who enjoy being outside, have an attention to detail and are dedicated to customer
service.
Job listings are here. ​Please apply to info@wearablecollections.com with your resume/experience and specify which position(s) you are interested in. Must provide a brief description of why
you want to join the Wearable Collections team.

Groceries for Good

March 15, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC

Please join GrowNYC for the Whole Foods 5% Day Community Giving Program on Thursday, April 18. 5% of all sale proceeds made at Whole Foods Market locations in Manhattan will go to GrowNYC – supporting neighborhood Youthmarkets, food access programs, community gardens, recycling and environmental education for youth. GrowNYC staff will be present at select Whole Foods Market locations sharing information. Save the date and spread the word!

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