Farm Credit East and CoBank to Improve Food Access for NYC Communities

Farm Credit East and CoBank to Improve Food Access for NYC Communities

Farm Credit EastENFIELD, CONN., THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017 — Farm Credit East and CoBank announced a joint contribution of $40,000 to GrowNYC to support its work with Northeast farmers. Farm Credit East provided $20,000 towards this program, which CoBank matched dollar for dollar. The funds will support Greenmarket Co.’s programs, such as the Fresh Food Box program initiative that allows underserved communities to purchase regionally-grown produce below traditional retail prices.
“GrowNYC is grateful for the support of Farm Credit East and CoBank,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President and CEO of GrowNYC. “We’re excited for the opportunities a new regional food hub in the Bronx will provide for the region’s producers. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Farm Credit System.”
GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets operate 51 farmers’ markets and related programming, such as nutrition education, throughout New York City. About 250 producers, most from New York and nearby states, sell through Greenmarkets.
GrowNYC also operates a wholesale division, Greenmarket Co., which is in the process of developing a regional food hub in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx to facilitate regional producers’ access to the greater New York City market. About two-thirds of Greenmarket Co.’s sales are to lower- to middle-income wholesale and institutional customers, including non-profits, food programs and schools.
“Supporting GrowNYC is a strategic contribution for Farm Credit East. GrowNYC’s programs not only provide food access for those in need, but it’s an important marketing channel for many Farm Credit East producer-members to gain access to the New York City market,” said Farm Credit East CEO Bill Lipinski.
“Connecting our nation’s farmers with at-risk populations in food deserts and other underserved markets is incredibly important,” said Will Baildon, regional vice president, CoBank. “Access to fresh, regionally-produced produce provides tremendous health and nutrition benefits for consumers while supporting the region’s producers.”

Farm Credit East and CoBank to Improve Food Access for NYC Communities