Opposing SNAP Cuts: Protecting Our Community's Access to Healthy Food

July 16, 2024

As the expiration date of the Farm Bill looms on September 30th, it's crucial to understand the importance of this legislation, particularly its role in authorizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). For 1.8 million New Yorkers, SNAP is not just a program—it’s a lifeline that ensures families have access to healthy food and nutritious meals.

SNAP in New York City: The Numbers

  • 560,000 children in New York City rely on SNAP to help their families put food on the table.
  • Older Adults (60+) represent 30% (530,000) of total SNAP recipients in our city.

These figures highlight the vital role SNAP plays in our community, supporting some of our most vulnerable populations: children and older adults.

The Threat of SNAP Cuts

Recently, the House Committee on Agriculture released a draft version of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (Farm Bill). This draft proposes the elimination of one of the two mechanisms for readjusting SNAP benefits. If enacted, this change would slash approximately $30 billion from SNAP benefits over the next decade. The consequences of such cuts would be devastating, drastically reducing support for the tens of millions of people in this country who are already struggling against hunger, especially during a time of increasing food insecurity.

The Impact on Local Economies

SNAP is not only essential for individuals and families; it also supports local and regional food businesses and economies. In 2023, the NYC Department of Social Services issued approximately $5 billion in SNAP benefits, with more than $3 million of these benefits redeemed at farmers markets. Local supermarkets and bodegas, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, rely on customers using SNAP funds. The USDA estimates that every $1 billion spent in SNAP benefits increases GDP by $1.79 billion, supporting 13,560 jobs and creating $32 million in farm income​.

Protecting the Thrifty Food Plan

The Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to set SNAP benefits, is vital for ensuring that benefit levels reflect current nutritional guidelines and market conditions. The last Farm Bill created a necessary pathway to update this plan every 5 years. However, the proposed cuts would eliminate these updates, preventing necessary adjustments and resulting in $30 billion less in SNAP benefits over the next decade​.

At GrowNYC, we are deeply committed to fighting food insecurity and ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to nutritious food. That's why we are one of more than 1,400 organizations that have signed a letter urging Congress to protect and strengthen SNAP. 

We need your help to amplify this message. Share this blog with your network. Thank you for your support.

#SNAPshot

GrowNYC Zero Waste Community Resources

July 11, 2024

As of June 2024, all GrowNYC Zero Waste programming has ended.  

Please note this does not include food scrap drop-offs at the Union Square Greenmarket or Tompkins Square Greenmarket (operated by the Lower East Side Ecology Center) or Domino Park Greenmarket (operated by Domino Park).

The NYC City Council allocated funding for community composting in the FY25 budget. This $6.2M restoration supports long-time Compost Project advocates with $500k going to GrowNYC, while expanding funding to more community composting and zero waste organizations. 

We’re deeply grateful for the council’s support. We are launching a planning process to re-envision old programming and develop new ways to reduce the environmental impacts of the millions of pounds of waste New Yorkers produce each year. This new, one year discretionary funding is 10% of our previous zero waste budget and will not allow us to recreate the programming we had before - however it remains critical to our program’s future. We are taking time to do this in a thoughtful and financially sustainable way for NYC residents. Please stay tuned via our website or social media (@grownyc) for future updates! 

While our Zero Waste work is taking a pause, we know the community continues to work towards the long-term sustainability of our city. The resources and updates below are subject to change--please check host information before you go. Remember, it's great to recycle and rot, but it's best to reduce and reuse to prevent waste!

Food Waste & Composting

Clothing & Textiles

  • Greenmarket clothing collections run by Wearable Collections will continue at its usual locations. Please check the schedule on our website for up-to-date information on drop-off locations, collection times, and accepted materials. 
  • ReFashionNYC is a convenient and free textile donation and recycling service available for NYC residential and commercial buildings, schools, and nonprofit institutions. 

Electronics

Reusable Items

  • Interested in hosting your own swap? Use GrowNYC’s DIY Guide for reference! 
  • Big Reuse accepts home goods, clothing, books, furniture and more
  • Use DonateNYC to find where you can donate your gently used items near you! 
  • Facebook Marketplace and/or Local “Buy Nothing” groups

Sustainable Summer with GrowNYC!

July 2, 2024

Schools out, Summer days in New York City are here! ☀ In honor of the sunny days, GrowNYC put together some ways to get involved in your community and live more sustainably during the warmer months. 

1. Visit your nearest GrowNYC Greenmarket

Nothing screams summer like a visit to a farmers market! The year-round GrowNYC Greenmarket network is growing, offering more seasonal delights directly from farmers from May through November. Throughout the season New Yorkers (and visitors) can find a bounty of fresh, local products at Greenmarkets throughout the city.

Since 1976, this vital food access program has bridged the connection between small farmers and New Yorkers! GrowNYC works with over 200 regional producers to transform open space across the five boroughs into vibrant centers of community activity, ensure fresh, local food is accessible to all New Yorkers, and provide a crucial sales channel for farmers and producers in the Northeast.

All GrowNYC Greenmarket locations accept SNAP/EBT, Debit/Credit, Healthfirst OTC cards (LIP and CC members only), WIC & Senior FMNP coupons, Fresh Connect Bucks, and Greenmarket Bucks. Customers using SNAP/EBT/P-EBT that spend $2, receive a bonus $2 Health Buck, up to $10 per day.

2. Plan a visit to GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden

The GrowNYC Teaching Garden on Governors Island is a one acre urban farm that aims to engage, excite, and educate its visitors in all aspects of environmental education, urban farming, and climate action.

The Teaching Garden is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 12 PM - 4 PM, starting Saturday, May 4 until October 27.

  • All ferry passengers ride free on the Governor Island’s Ferry from Manhattan on Saturdays and Sundays before noon. Making this an fun and accessible environmental weekend activity for all New York City families, visitors, and anyone interested in immersing themselves into an urban oasis. 

  • Have a chance to purchase an array of just-picked vegetables, herbs, and fruits from GrowNYC’s donation-based farmstand! Pay what you wish. The produce you'll find at the Farmstand was planted by NYC students during their field trips to the Garden.

3. Join your nearest community garden

NYC is home to the largest community garden network in the nation and there's no time like the present to join or visit your nearest community green space!
Interested in joining or visiting one of NYC's 600 existing community gardens? Find one at NYC Parks GreenThumb or check out GrowNYC’s garden map to see what green spaces we’ve worked with in the past.

4. Volunteer with GrowNYC and other mission-driven organizations

Interested in volunteering with GrowNYC? Get involved in your community and join one of our online orientations where we will provide information about GrowNYC, local agriculture and food access, as well as current and upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Orientation is open to all, however, GrowNYC volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Volunteer orientation is required to participate in our volunteer opportunities.

5. Become a Friend of GrowNYC

Friends of GrowNYC commit to making a recurring gift of $15 or more every month. When you give monthly, you support GrowNYC programming year-round, from planting to harvest season!

What are the benefits? Friends of GrowNYC receive an exclusive GrowNYC cotton canvas tote bag, as well as invitations to members-only online and in person events throughout the year.

Help GrowNYC Transform NYC's Food System

June 5, 2024
Posted in GrowNYC

GrowNYC’s New York State Regional Food Hub (The Hub) is entering the final stages of development and is expected to open in the Fall of 2024. 

The Hub represents a significant milestone in GrowNYC's ongoing efforts to bolster and protect our foodshed through a two-part mission: regional farm viability and equitable access to locally-grown foods for all New Yorkers.

GrowNYC currently distributes 2.6 millions pounds of produce to 300 customers, 90% going to other organizations working to expand food access and fight food insecurity. The Hub will provide critical infrastructure to dramatically increase our impact.

Help us reach our fundraising goal to create an essential pathway to food access for generations to come: https://www.grownycfoodhub.com/ 

If you’re a local business or non-profit interested in sourcing from us, please visit www.grownycwholesale.org/source-from-us

GrowNYC Publishes 2023 Impact Report

April 11, 2024

GrowNYC today published its 2023 Impact Report, which outlines how the non-profit continues to address environmental challenges through its programs in Food Access & Agriculture, Education, Zero Waste, and Green Spaces. The report provides statistics and details on how GrowNYC continues to work side by side with New York City agencies, communities, and partners to create a more sustainable and climate resilient City, and inspires change on critical environmental issues.

The report highlights GrowNYC’s ongoing efforts to build significant momentum both citywide and nationally to inspire environmental action. As a leading environmental organization in New York City, GrowNYC provides opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages to understand and connect with the life cycle of our environment, plants, food, and nutritious eating.

“All New Yorkers deserve a city filled with green space, opportunities to live sustainably, and access to affordable, nutritious food. The work our 200+ staff does across the city every day inspires me and keeps me going,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President & CEO of GrowNYC. “I hope when you read ahead you too are inspired by how individual participation in our programs makes a huge impact.”

Impact Report 2023 highlights include:

  • We operated 66 food access locations across the 5 boroughs working with 207 regional farms, giving New Yorkers nearly 3,000 unique opportunities throughout the year to access fresh local foods.  

  • We distributed 2.6 million of local food distributed through our Food Hub – 90% food sourced from the Hub went to organizations dedicated to expanding food security across our City.

  • We collected 2.2 million pounds of food scraps for composting, reaching 24 million pounds of food scraps diverted from landfills since 2011.

  • We engaged and prepared 459,500 kids and adults in environmental stewardship.

  • We renovated 30 community gardens and built 7 new gardens across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan, totaling 46,500 square feet of green space added to our city landscape.

  • GrowNYC sites redeemed $4.3 in nutrition benefits that went directly into farmers’ pockets. These benefits make local food accessible to low income New Yorkers through the promotion and acceptance of nutrition benefits, incentive coupons, and credit cards.

READ THE FULL REPORT

2024 Seasonal Greenmarkets and Farmstands Opening!

March 18, 2024
Posted in Greenmarket

It's farmers market season in New York City!

GrowNYC Greenmarkets 
GrowNYC's year-round Greenmarket farmers markets are growing as farmers bring additional delicious fruits and vegetables to market every day, and our seasonal Greenmarkets have begun opening. New Yorkers (and visitors!) can find a bounty of fresh, local products at Greenmarkets throughout the city. 

Check out individual market webpages for daily farmer attendance and information about upcoming activities such as cooking demonstrations and family-friendly programming.

GrowNYC Farmstands
GrowNYC Farmstands are part of a network of food access retail sites operated by GrowNYC, along with Greenmarket sites. Through Farmstands, GrowNYC sells fresh, affordable food in underserved and under resourced neighborhoods across NYC. The food sold at Farmstands is grown by farmers in the Northeast and transparently sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale. This vital food access program also offers important job opportunities for New Yorkers, ensures healthy, fresh food access across the city, and provides vital revenue for family farms in the Northeast.

All GrowNYC Greenmarkets and Farmstands accept SNAP/EBT, Debit/Credit, Healthfirst OTC cards (LIP and CC members only), WIC & Senior FMNP coupons, and Greenmarket Bucks accepted.
Spend $2 in SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, get bonus $2 Health Buck, up to $10 per day.

We’re on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow us for up-to-date news.

OPENING DATE   SEASONAL GREENMARKETS & FARMSTANDS
April 16   Bowling Green Tuesday Greenmarket
April 17   Tribeca Wednesday Greenmarket
May 4   Bay Ridge Greenmarket Saturdays
May 12   Bartel-Pritchard Square Greenmarket Sundays (also open on Wednesdays)
May 12   Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket Sundays 
June 1   57th Street Greenmarket Saturdays
June 2   Bensonhurst Greenmarket Sundays
June 4   Astor Place Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 4   Fort Washington Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 4   Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 8   Staten Island Mall Greenmarket Saturdays 
June 11   Elmhurst Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 14   Corona Greenmarket Fridays
June 16   Domino Park Greenmarket Sundays
June 18   Greenmarket at the Oculus
June 19   Mount Sinai Hospital Greenmarket Wednesdays
June 21   Lincoln Hospital Greenmarket Fridays (open Tuesdays June 25)
June 23   92nd Street Greenmarket Sundays
June 25   Poe Park Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 27   175th Street Greenmarket Thursdays
June 28   Parkchester Greenmarket Fridays
July 3   Eastchester Farmstand Wednesdays
July 3   Morris Heights Farmstand Wednesdays 
July 3   Morrisania Farmstand Wednesdays
July 5   NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur Health Farmstand Fridays 
July 5   Cypress Hills Farmstand Fridays
July 5   Lower East Side Farmstand Fridays
July 6   Brownsville Pitkin Farmstand Saturdays 
July 6   Forest Park Farmstand Saturdays 
July 6   Ridgewood Farmstand Saturdays 
July 11   Boro Park Greenmarket Thursdays
July 17   Flushing Greenmarket Wednesdays
July 20   4th Ave Sunset Park Greenmarket Saturdays

2023 Seasonal Greenmarkets and Farmstands Opening!

May 5, 2023
Posted in Greenmarket

It's farmers market season in New York City!

GrowNYC Greenmarkets 
GrowNYC's year-round Greenmarket farmers markets are growing as farmers bring additional delicious fruits and vegetables to market every day, and our seasonal Greenmarkets have begun opening. New Yorkers (and visitors!) can find a bounty of fresh, local products at Greenmarkets throughout the city. 

Check out individual market webpages for daily farmer attendance and information about upcoming activities such as cooking demonstrations and family-friendly programming.

GrowNYC Farmstands
GrowNYC Farmstands are part of a network of food access retail sites operated by GrowNYC, along with Greenmarkets and Fresh Food Box sites. Through Farmstands, GrowNYC sells fresh, affordable food in underserved and under resourced neighborhoods across NYC. The food sold at Farmstands is grown by farmers in the Northeast and transparently sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale. This vital food access program also offers important job opportunities for New Yorkers, ensures healthy, fresh food access across the city, and provides vital revenue for family farms in the Northeast.

All GrowNYC Greenmarkets and Farmstands accept SNAP/EBT, Debit/Credit, Healthfirst OTC cards (LIP and CC members only), WIC & Senior FMNP coupons, and Greenmarket Bucks accepted.
Spend $2 in SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, get bonus $2 Health Buck, up to $10 per day.

GrowNYC Fresh Food Box 
GrowNYC Fresh Food Box sites are also part of a network of food access retail sites operated by GrowNYC. Through Fresh Food Box, customers pay one week in advance for a pre-assembled box of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables grown primarily by regional farmers and sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale. The program allows customers to take advantage of the cost benefit of buying in a group and enjoy the flexibility of a weekly commitment while supporting farmers. All Fresh Food Box sites currently operate year-round. 

We’re on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow us for up-to-date news.

OPENING DATE   SEASONAL GREENMARKETS & FARMSTANDS
May 6   Bay Ridge Greenmarket Saturdays
May 7   Bartel-Pritchard Square Greenmarket Sundays (also open on Wednesdays)
May 14   Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket Sundays 
May 28   Bensonhurst Greenmarket Sundays
June 3   57th Street Greenmarket Saturdays 
June 4   Domino Park Greenmarket Sundays
June 6   Astor Place Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 6   Fort Washington Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 6   Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 6   Greenmarket at the Oculus Tuesdays 
June 10   Staten Island Mall Greenmarket Saturdays 
June 13   Elmhurst Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 14   Mount Sinai Hospital Greenmarket Wednesdays
June 16   Parkchester Greenmarket Fridays
June 16   Corona Greenmarket Fridays
June 18   94th Street Greenmarket Sundays
July 20   PS 57 Farmstand Thursdays 
June 23   Lincoln Hospital Greenmarket Fridays (open Tuesdays June 27)
June 28   Eastchester Farmstand Saturdays
June 27   Poe Park Greenmarket Tuesdays
June 29   175th St Greenmarket Thursdays 
June 29   Lower East Side Farmstand Thursdays 
July 1   4th Avenue Sunset Park Greenmarket Saturdays
July 1   Forest Park Farmstand Saturdays 
July 8   Ridgewood Farmstand Saturdays 
July 5   Flushing Greenmarket Wednesdays 
July 5   Morrisania Farmstand Wednesdays
July 5   Woodhull Hospital Farmstand Wednesdays
July 6   Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza Greenmarket Thursdays
July 6   Boro Park Greenmarket Thursdays
July 6   NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur Health Farmstand Thursdays 
July 7   Cypress Hills Farmstand Fridays
July 15   Brownsville Pitkin Farmstand Saturdays 

Give to GrowNYC

October 16, 2021

Our Impact

For over 50 years, we have believed that everyone can make a positive impact and that collective action is necessary to secure a clean & healthy environment for future generations.

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on donations to support our work:

  • Conservation: We work to make it second nature for all New Yorkers to lead environmentally conscious lifestyles through conservation of our natural resources.
  • Education: We engage all New Yorkers in environmental stewardship and education to win the fight against climate change.
  • Food Access & Agriculture: We create opportunities for all New Yorkers to be active participants in creating an equitable food system that supports small farms and keeps people and the planet healthy.
  • Green Space: We help NYC schools and neighborhoods create and maintain gardens, bringing people together, creating beauty, combating climate change, and adding vital green space to our city.

Becoming a monthly donor is the most sustainable way to support our programs! Monthly donations provide support for our work all year long, and allow us to set more ambitious, long term goals.Thank you for making our work possible. Scroll down for alternative ways to donate.

Prefer to donate by mail? Write your check out to:

GrowNYC, P.O. Box 2327, New York, NY 10272

 

GrowNYC is also eligible to receive donor advised funds. Use the DAF Direct portal below or make a grant recommendation to your donor advised fund for GrowNYC today.

You can also help protect the future of NYC and ensure your legacy will live on in green spaces, food access and agriculture, education, and conservation by making a bequest to GrowNYC.

For more information call 212-788-7900 x253 or email.

Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

 

 

       

 

Jazz Foundation at GrowNYC Greenmarkets

October 1, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Come out and hear Jazz Foundation musicians playing at GrowNYC Greenmarkets!

The Jazz Foundation of America, a non-profit organization based in Manhattan, provides retired professional jazz musicians with the opportunity to continue performing.

Through their "Gig Fund," the Jazz Foundation produces free, “pop-up” performances for underserved audiences. The shows take place in public spaces as opposed to traditional and costly venues, and engage new audiences who would not otherwise have the chance to hear these accomplished players. We are thrilled to announce the schedule of performers coming out to GrowNYC Greenmarkets. 

FALL SCHEDULE JAZZ FOUNDATION
AT GROWNYC GREENMARKETS 

 October 9

    57th Street Saturday Greenmarket

    Will Terrill Band

 October 10

    92nd Street Sunday Greenmarket 

    Rick Fiori Band

 October 12

    Brooklyn Borough Hall Tuesday Greenmarket

    Band TBD

 October 14

    Myrtle-Wyckoff Thursday Greenmarket 

    Jerry Griffin


Presented in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America, with partial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council

GrowNYC Tours & Learning Opportunities

September 25, 2021

In Person Field Trips Are Back!

Greenmarket School Tours

Join an interactive tour to learn more about local agriculture and fresh, local food.

Dates: September – December, Weekdays

To request an in person field trip, please fill out this registration form.

Virtual Tours and Self Guided tours of neighborhood Greenmarkets are also available.

Adult tours at citywide Greenmarket locations are also available here.

 

Teaching Garden on Governors Island Tours

Join us for a hands on learning experience on our urban farm.

Dates: September – November, Weekdays

To request an in person field trip, please fill out this registration form.

Virtual Tours and Farmer Talks are also available. 

Please note: All GrowNYC tour leaders are fully vaccinated and masks will be worn at all times for everyone’s safety.

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