Youth market comes to Broadway
By Bria Holness
A new farmers market is coming to Van Cortlandt Park this summer.
In partnership with Inwood Go Green, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park will run a youth-operated stand on Tuesdays, between Tuesday, July 10 and Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 3 to 7 p.m., near the West 242nd Street and Broadway entrance to the park.
The program aims to help residents eat more healthfully by offering fresh, locally grown produce while giving teens an opportunity to learn about growing, selling, consuming and composting produce.
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park has been caring for vegetable garden beds at the organization’s compost site in the park, located near Mosholu Avenue and Broadway, and donating crops to local food pantries.
This year, Friends Executive Director Christina Taylor said the organization wanted to combine this initiative with getting high school and college students working outdoors in the park.
Ms. Taylor said Friends contacted Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities Initiative, which referred her to Inwood Go Green, a youth led social-action project with experience in running farmers markets.
“It is definitely much easier to do with the Inwood program,” Ms. Taylor said. “They know what they’re doing … If we were doing this without them it would be very overwhelming.”
Bon Secours New York Healthy Communities Initiative is an organization in Marble Hill that collaborates with community organizations and government agencies to support programming focused on issues including food security, youth empowerment, and senior services.
The Bronx has the largest percentage of overweight or obese adults in the city’s five boroughs. According to the most recent statistics from 2010 provided by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 38.7 percent of adults in the borough are overweight but not obese; 31 percent of adults are obese, adding up to a staggering 70 percent of adults who are overweight in one way or another.
Ms. Taylor said the market’s location near the No. 1 train stop at West 242nd Street and Broadway will allow people getting off the train to stop and take fresh produce home, promoting a healthier lifestyle.
“I’m hoping that we can get our kids to eat healthier,” Ms. Taylor said. “If they eat a piece of fruit instead of a bag of chips that would be perfect.”
KeywordsBria Holness, Van Cortlandt Park, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, Inwood Go Green, farmer's market, health, local produce,