South Bronx Farmers Market Awarded USDA Grant of $40,000

It's all about community engagement and run by the community at The South Bronx Farmers Market
It’s all about community engagement and run by the community at The South Bronx Farmers Market

The South Bronx Farmers Market located at E 138th Street at Alexander Avenue right next to St. Jerome’s in Mott Haven, which started operating last year, has just been awarded United States Department of Agriculture grant of $40,717.13!

This is amazing and a testament to the hard work the community has put into making sure there is access to healthy foods in our neighborhood as well as connect our communities with our local farmers.

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With farmers markets on 161st Street and the Grand Concourse in front of Joyce Kilmer Park, Lincoln Hospital, and the latest, South Bronx Farmers Market, area residents and employees now have greater access to such amenities that other parts of the city take for granted.

The best part of these markets is that they accept what’s known as ‘Health Bucks’ which is a program geared towards those receiving public assistance where for every $5 dollars they spend of their electronic benefits transfers (EBT) they get back $2 to spend right back at that farmers market (or any other in NYC which accepts them).

The purpose of the USDA grant awarded to The South Bronx Farmers Market according to a press release issued is to, “…fund a market director and assistant, comprehensive outreach geared to attract local shoppers in neighboring New York City Housing Authority homes, and advertising and marketing to bring in new local shoppers. The grant will greatly improve outreach opportunities to increase market traffic to support existing vendors as well as attract new farmers, vendors and producers.”

Lily Kesselman, Director and one of the founding members of The South Bronx Farmers Markets chats with New York Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last year on their successful opening day.
Lily Kesselman, Director and one of the founding members of The South Bronx Farmers Markets chats with New York Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last year on their successful opening day.

Since its inception, the market has had the backing of New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who represents the district where the market is located. In a statement issued by her office she said, “The South Bronx Farmers Market plays a critical role in offering fresh, local produce to communities in and around the South Bronx. This new funding will allow the farmer’s market to expand and provide additional services to the neighborhood. I congratulate the South Bronx Farmers Market for all their great work and look forward to their continued presence in our community.”

The Market accepts SNAP/EBT payments; facilitates the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Health Bucks; USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program; and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program which makes it accessible to people at all economic levels.

Local residents enjoy the cooking demonstrations where they also get a bilingual copy of the recipes in English and Spanish.
Local residents enjoy the cooking demonstrations where they also get a bilingual copy of the recipes in English and Spanish.

What’s wonderful about the market is that they also host popular cooking demonstrations where shoppers can learn how to create delicious, nutritious meals with their bounties purchased at the market.

Congratulations to the amazing crew of The South Bronx Farmers Market who started with a humble grant of $3,000 and volunteers logged in 1,700 hours in the first year ALONE!

The South Bronx Farmers Market runs from mid-June through mid-November on Saturdays from 10AM to 5PM and is just wrapping up its season.

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