On July 13 GrowNYC celebrated the return of its Greenmarket/Youth-Run Farm Stand in Hunters Point, Long Island City. GrowNYC used to operate this same green market at this exact location before, but had to close shop in 2010 due to poor sales. Three years later the market has come back thanks to the advocacy efforts of Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
Now the LIC Youthmarket can make available again fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables for sale to the wider Western Queens community. By partnering with the LIC YMCA, GrowNYC was able to find and hire local neighborhood teens to help run the market. The youth market program is a great way to not only help local residents find fresh, healthy, locally grown produce for sale, it also helps teach local teens how to run a small business and become future entrepreneurs.
“Western Queens residents who visit this Long Island City market now have access to a wide variety of produce at a fraction of the cost they might normally spend on these items elsewhere,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “By expanding affordable food options for our neighborhoods we are able to ensure that our communities are being given produce that contains nutritional value at a price that won’t break the bank. In addition to increasing access to affordable food options we are also giving our local youth jobs that will provide them the opportunity to gain invaluable skills and training.”
“We are thrilled to open the LIC Youthmarket in this bustling community in Queens,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director, GrowNYC. “This triple bottom line program provides the neighborhood with access to fresh, affordable produce, supports our regional farmers, and provides valuable job training for area youth—a win for all. Everyone at GrowNYC is deeply thankful to Council Member Van Bramer for supporting this important project and all he has done to increase access to fresh, healthy and local produce in his district and beyond. We’re looking forward to a great season in Long Island City!”
“We are proud to be a part of this wonderful partnership which is both helping provide local children with jobs and bringing nutritional produce to the residents of Western Queens,” said Jonathan Imperial, Membership/ Communication Director of the Long Island City YMCA. “The Long Island City YMCA is also excited to help support local farmers being able to sell fresh and nutritious locally grown food to our community.”
The GrowNYC Youthmarket will be open at the corner of 48th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday until the month of November. Several cooking demonstrations will also be given throughout the day at the market, in order to teach customers about a variety of recipes they can use to cook the produce they purchase.