July 14, 2015 (Bronx, NY) – The Bronx spoke out, and Hostos Community College listened.
With a shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables being a major concern for Bronxites who are looking to live more healthy lifestyles, Hostos partnered with GrowNYC to open a large farmers market at the College. The “Hostos Greenmarket” opened on June 30, and it is a first on campus. The market is open every Tuesday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., through November 24.
Today, Hostos Community College was joined by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz, as well as other community leaders, who were on hand to support this important partnership.
The market features fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, herbs, eggs, honey, candles and baked goods from five farmers and producers from upstate New York. In addition, the market will offer food scrap collection for compost and textile collection each market day.
“One of the main responsibilities of any community college is identifying and addressing various needs in the neighborhoods we serve,” Hostos Community College President David Gómez said. “Hostos recognizes its responsibility to be a leader in educating our community about healthy eating, as well as providing healthy eating alternatives. We are confident the Hostos Greenmarket will be a huge success for the College and South Bronx residents.”
This community-based effort comes as Hostos is expanding its curriculum to include classes centered on the food industry, nutrition and policy making. The Hostos Greenmarket will also support other regional health initiatives, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz’s #Not62 plan, a healthy living call to arms that came in response to the Borough being ranked last among the 62 counties in New York in a national health report.
“As an anchor institution, Hostos Community College continues to play a vital role in the development and promotion of innovative programs that enhance the lives of its students and surrounding community,” Diaz Jr. said. “Through this collaboration with GrowNYC, the Hostos Greenmarket offers Bronxites an opportunity to have access to fresh, healthy and good quality products. Farmers markets are a perfect way to preserve regional farmland and encourage friendly growing methods, while also making healthy foods available to the public. This new greenmarket is a great addition to our #Not62 campaign for a healthier Bronx, and I am proud to be a part of this launch.”
GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets work to preserve local farmland, while ensuring that New Yorkers across all five boroughs have access to fresh, healthy food grown right here in our region. A central component of Greenmarket’s mission and operations is product integrity: everything sold at market is 100 percent farmer grown, produced, caught, or foraged. In addition to operating farmers markets, Greenmarket is working to improve the health of all New Yorkers with a suite of food access strategies aimed at getting the healthiest, freshest food into the hands that need it most.
“This market is an expansion of our relationship with Hostos Community College in an effort to see more Bronx residents engaged in the sustainable agriculture economy, as well as having increased access to our region’s bounty,” said GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen.
Hurwitz echoed Van Ooyen’s sentiments and added that the Greenmarket also represents an important economic engine and educational asset in the Bronx that will provide a healthy and natural sources of food for both the Hostos campus and the community at large.
The Hostos Greenmarket is yet another example of the College’s commitment to increasing access to healthy food options in our borough and, more specifically, to the health and wellness of our students and surrounding community. This initiative follows in the footsteps of an effort by Hostos professor Elyse Zucker. The Associate Professor of English had her class opened a similar market last year to teach students about agriculture and social justice in her Expository Writing course. The greenmarket served as a “service learning” component” that saw students promote the market to local community members, operated it, and write about the experience. Students also distributed a brochure created in her class, exploring topics including “agroindustry vs. agriculture,” “processed vs. unprocessed food,” “food deserts,” and “farmers markets.”