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Harvest Home Farmers’ Market, Inc. (HHFM) is an East Harlem based nonprofit whose mission is to increase access to farm fresh, locally grown produce for consumers in high need, low-income New York communities identified as "fresh and healthy food deserts." Founded in 1993, HHFM operates 21 farmers markets in East Harlem, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens communities under-served by grocery stores and other fresh food outlets. The farmers’ markets provide direct producer-to-consumer economic opportunities for 35 farmers and food producers who sell their goods at HHFM markets.
HHFM has been a significant player in food access and healthy food issues for 17 years. Indeed, we have proven that there is considerable demand for fresh food in low-income areas and that when low-income consumers have access to better choices they will take full advantage of them. Through collaboration with other organizations, systems-based advocacy and public education, we have helped establish a regional and environmentally responsive food and farm economy that supports good nutrition, prevents hunger, enhances communities, and supports healthy lifestyles.
We have buttressed consumer demand with a host of income supports and successfully partnered with a number of other organizations and government programs to insure access to these supports. The markets are approved to redeem Women, Infants, Children’s (WIC) New York State Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons (FMNP), New York City Department of Health "Health Bucks," Senior Farmers Market Nutrition (SFMNP) coupons, accept NYS Green Checks, and process Electronic Benefit Transfer/Food Stamp (EBT) benefits. These initiatives help eliminate access barriers to healthy farm fresh foods, making healthy food choices within reach.
Each year patrons are able to take full advantage of the abundance of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables sold at multiple market sites each week from Tuesday - Sunday from July - November. The markets offer an outlet for local vendors to sell their products; provides seasonal employment opportunities and help to strengthen neighborhoods by providing a meeting place for community and increased traffic in business districts.
With the growing incidence of diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular disease and obesity Harvest Home is reaching out to local health care agencies to come to the markets to provide nutrition education encouraging residents to eat healthier and increase their intake of nutrient and fiber rich fruits and vegetables.
- Rosana Martinez
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