NYC Health + Hospitals has again partnered with Harvest Home Farmers Market and GrowNYC, two local nonprofit organizations, to host farmer’s markets and fresh food box programs at patient care locations throughout the city and make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible for patients, staff and the community. Farmers markets offer a variety of affordable, regionally grown vegetables, fruits, and fresh juices in communities where residents sometimes lack access to quality produce at reasonable prices. Shopping at farmers markets supports regional agriculture and helps educate communities about the importance of healthy eating through on-site cooking and nutrition demonstrations, health tips and healthy recipes, and as well as information about how eating fruits and vegetables can prevent or control the symptoms of obesity and chronic disease.
“Part of our work at Health + Hospitals is to understand the needs of the communities we serve to guarantee they have all of the tools necessary to live healthy lives,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Proper nutrition is foundational to good health and we want to make sure we’re providing New Yorkers with affordable and convenient food options to help control or avoid chronic health conditions.”
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Harvest Home Farmer’s Market and GrowNYC,” said Dr. Machelle Allen, senior vice president and chief medical officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Farmers markets directly support Health + Hospitals’ focus on building healthy communities. Along with regular visits to their primary care physician and exercise, a healthy diet helps people manage their health.”
“GrowNYC’s Fresh Food Box and NYC Health + Hospitals are a match made in heaven,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Every New Yorker with access to a Fresh Food Box has an advantage at getting fresh, affordable, fruits and vegetables that we all need. By partnering with GrowNYC and Harvest Home Farmer’s Market, NYC Health + Hospitals is really empowering their employees, patients, and anyone in and around their facilities to take advantage of the healthy options.”
Various payment options are available to help New Yorkers take advantage of farmers markets, including EBT/SNAP, Health Bucks and Greenmarket Bucks, Green Checks, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) coupons. In addition, Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets offer $2 ‘Health Seniors Healthy Shoppers’ coupons for eligible seniors.
In addition to their Greenmarkets, GrowNYC offers their Fresh Food Box program year-round at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Carter location, which is a food access initiative that enables under-served communities to purchase fresh, healthy, and primarily regionally grown produce well below traditional retail prices through the power of collaborative purchasing. Participants sign up for the service and visit their local Fresh Food Box location during the designated time to pick up their produce and order their box for the following week.