THE HEIGHTS COMMUNITY FARMERS MARKET
The Heights Community Farmers Market was launched in 2012 by BronxWorks, a local organization that feeds, shelters, teaches and supports individuals and families, from toddlers to seniors, to improve their economic and social well-being and build a stronger community. Located in a small and quiet park near Bronx Community College, a NYC Public Library and a Parks Playground, a typical market day is booming with Morris Heights and University Heights residents young and old, along with volunteers from the BronxWorks youth program, senior services, outreach coordinators, and food pantry program participants.
A key goal of the farmers market is to improve the health and wellbeing of the large and diverse senior community that BronxWorks serves. Each Thursday, shuttles arrive periodically, operated by BronxWorks volunteers, transporting seniors from three separate senior sites to shop the market and engage with the youth leadership members, volunteers, and other patrons.
The market also helps support the food pantry program at several nearby senior centers. Working directly with the farmers and with grants from The New York Community Trust and the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), BronxWorks helps fill 200 bags of fresh food to seniors and other pantry participants four times a month. Each bag is contains fresh greens and other seasonal produce straight from the markets’ farmers.
In addition to the weekly market, BronxWorks cultivates a community garden at the Andrew Freeman Home where youth and volunteers are taught how to build raised garden beds, maintain a thriving garden of vegetables and herbs, harvest and compost. Recently, the compost-trained and inspired youth leadership program wrote letters to the NYC Composting Project to urge them to visit the Bronx to collect compost as it is in the only borough the project doesn’t service. Not only are BronxWorks youth, seniors, and volunteers learning about the importance of nutrition and locally grown produce in their involvement with the market, market manager Kim Wong stated that it’s exciting to see people becoming involved and informed agents of their own community.
The Heights Community Farmers Market is a 2012 graduate of the Just Food Farmers’ Market Training Program.
Kim Wong, BronxWorks: 718.933.5300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Farms & Vendors:
Fresh Radish Farm, (Orange County, NY)
Pastor Hugh Farrish Farms (Orange County, NY)
Leave it Better Kids' Garden (Bronx, NYC)
Just Food Community Chef: