Providing Healthy and Affordable Food for Low-Income New Yorkers
Building Healthy Communities
March 20, 2019
GrowNYC operates Greenmarket Co., a nonprofit food hub and distribution program that assists 240 regional farms in distributing their products to New York City’s wholesale marketplace, ranging from high-end restaurants to community-based organizations.
Greenmarket Co. has distributed more than 9 million pounds of food to date, with more than 60% going to under-resourced communities via its Fresh Food Box and Youthmarket programs. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded a grant to GrowNYC to grow and increase efficiency of Greenmarket Co. operations. In 2019, NYSHealth awarded GrowNYC a second grant to expand its programs that make healthy, local foods available to more New Yorkers and prepare for the opening of the New York State Regional Food Hub.
Under this grant, GrowNYC will expand its ability to meet the increased demand for healthy food distribution and nutrition education programs operating across New York City, including in three of NYSHealth’s Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities: East Harlem, Brownsville, and the Lower East Side. GrowNYC will also prepare for the 2020 opening of the Hub, a 75,000-square-foot distribution facility in the South Bronx. The Hub will quadruple the square footage of GrowNYC’s current food distribution site, allowing for greater scale and efficiency while lowering freight costs. GrowNYC will be able to broaden affordable food options for farmers markets and services to more community-based organizations. GrowNYC will grow its total food distribution to underserved communities and increase the variety of products available through the Youthmarket and Fresh Food Box programs. It will also increase food distribution to institutions and nonprofit organizations across New York City. Finally, it will build its technological and staff capacity to meet the new demands of the Hub, including upgrading warehouse and logistics operations; developing new relationships with farmers and freight providers; establishing new partnerships with organizations and businesses; and expanding product lines.