Monday, July 7, 2014

South Bronx Farmers Market Debuts in Mott Haven, South Bronx Providing Fresh Food Access for Residents

Farm-fresh, affordable food is now available in South Bronx at the new South Bronx Farmers Market (SBFM) that launched Saturday, June 14. The market runs for 23 consecutive weeks on Saturdays until November 22ndand operates from 10 am – 4 pm, rain or shine. The market is located on 138thStreet between Willis and Alexander Avenues in the South Bronx.

In support of residents on food subsidies, food stamp recipients can now use their SNAP/EBT card at the market to purchase food-stamp authorized fruits, vegetables, farm fresh eggs, local honey and baked breads. Some vendors also accept WIC checks so families can add locally-grown produce to their pantries.

In addition to farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, market shoppers can attend daily on-site cooking demonstrations offered by both Just Food and Stellar Markets each market day. Shoppers can learn how to cook available foods with simple and nutritious recipes provided by community chefs speaking in English & Spanish.

“This is a positive, win-win situation for everyone involved in the South Bronx Farmers Market –both the vendors and the food stamp customers. Now our residents will have access to the freshest, healthiest produce and products that New York State has to offer!” says Lily Kesselman, Director of SBFM. The market is located in the poorest congressional district in the United States and almost 50% of children in this area live below the poverty line. Services for subsidized food-program recipients is vital in this community.

Farmers include La Finca del Sur, a local community garden located just blocks away from the market on 138th Street & Grand Concourse. Other farmers include MimoMex Farm of Goshen, New York who grows staples for Mexican cooking including seasonal peppers, cilantro, tomatillos and tomatoes; Sweet Freedom Farm of Germantown, NY will offer a variety of vegetables using no-till, organic and permaculture techniques; Wassaic Community Farm of Wassaic, NY will participate and is one of the only New York farmers offering a variety of medicinal teas and herbs as well as locally-grown vegetables. Trinity Farms of Clintondale, NY offers fresh fruits, vegetables and farm-fresh organically-fed free-range eggs. The market will also offer affordable, artisanal breads from local baker Zaro’s and local honey.

The market is a 100% community-led project planned and run by volunteers and empowered by strong community partnerships that have all helped to bring the project to fruition: Youth Advocates Program is offering two local youth paid jobs at the market each week; both Stellar Markets and Just Food are providing stipends for community chefs; The NYC Department of Mental Health & Hygiene is providing $2 Health Bucks for every EBT/SNAP purchase of $5 which gives these shoppers an additional 40% of product for their dollar (from July – September only); and Citizens Committee for New York City provided the funding with a Neighborhood Grant.

Opening day local celebrity, creator and star of Bronx Flavor & The Cooking Channels’s “The Culiniary Advendurs of Baron Ambrosia”, Baron Ambrosia attended the event as did NYC City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The market is easily accessible by train and located just outside the MTA 6 Train 138thStreet/Third Avenue station or the 4/5 trains at the Grand Concourse/138thStreet Stop.

All market information is available at online in both English and limited information in Spanish

For more information about South Bronx Farmers Market, Inc, contact or (516) 418.6355. Visit the market on Twitter at @SBxFarmMarket

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