Green Market Run By Kids Is Back In Long Island City
Sponsored By City Council Member
GrowNYC operated a greenmarket at this location until 2010. However, because of poor sales, the market was forced to close. After nearly three years of inactivity Van Bramer successfully advocated for the return of the fresh produce market to western Queens.
The Long Island City Youthmar- ket provides residents with access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. GrowNYC has partnered with the LIC YMCA, who hired local neighborhood youth to run the farm stand. The youth market program is an innovative way to give Western Queens residents access to fresh, healthy, locally grown produce while training 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 Van Bramer. “By expanding affordable food options for our neighborhoods we are able to ensure that our communities are being given produce that contains nu- tritional 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.”
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 and will run through November. Cooking demonstrations will also take place throughout the day to help educate customers about a variety of recipes using the produce available for purchase.
“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 introduction of the Youthmarket is also a part of Van Bramer’s efforts to expand healthy food options for western Queens residents. Last year, Van Bramer allocated $10,000 to GrowNYC to launch Queens’ first affordable farm fresh food initiative at the Queenbridge Houses. The program will continue this year and is expected to kick-off next month.