In the U.S., most people get the majority of their food from grocery stores. So, it’s important to have good options available. And by good, we mean fresh, affordable and close to home. Our food retail work is reflective of this value. We’re hoping with time and growth, we will begin to see some real change in the food retail landscape in Bed-Stuy.
Out of 216 food stores in Bed-Stuy, 176 of them are bodegas (corner stores). While most people don’t do most of their food shopping in bodegas, they do comprise 81% of stores. We expect them to stock healthy snacks and prepared foods. We also expect them to carry a few popular fresh produce items and that they have some healthy packaged foods too. In most bodegas, this isn’t the case. Some bodega owners, however, see the benefits of providing healthier food choices. They want to be part of combating high rates of diet-related diseases, and they also see these new products as improving their bottom line. In addition to our residential properties, NEBHDCo also owns 17 commercial properties. Two of our commercial tenants are bodega owners. We’ve been working with our friends at City Harvest to support the store owners as they slowly but surely stock and prepare healthier foods. Green Apple Organic & Gourmet Products, located at 104 Ralph Avenue in Bed-Stuy has already opened a small organic market with a juice and salad bar, a well-stocked produce case, and an array of healthy packaged foods, including organics. Herrera Deli and Grocery, located at 152 Marcus Garvey Avenue, also in Bed-Stuy, has introduced several varieties of fresh produce and is hoping to start up a smoothie bar soon.
Marcy Park Farmers’ Market
In the summer of 2014, we partnered with Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets to open a new Farmers’ Market on the corner of Marcy and Myrtle Avenues in Bed-Stuy, directly in front of NYCHA’s Tompkins Houses and at the exit of the G train at Myrtle-Willoughby Aves. Called the Marcy Park Market, it is open from July through November each year. For hours and available products see the Harvest Home website. The Marcy Park Market accepts EBT, WIC, FMNP checks, NYC Health Bucks, cash, and debit. Harvest Home Farmer's Market is a NYC non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to local, farm-fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods. Founded in 1993, the markets create a community gathering place that educates the public about health and nutrition, supports regional agriculture and provides job opportunities six days a week during the summer season.
Central Brooklyn Food Co-Op
The Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) is a community organizing group that brings together residents of Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights to identify issues of importance to them, build power and improve conditions. The BMC spearheaded a now resident-led effort to start a food co-op for central Brooklyn residents. The Central Brooklyn Food Co-op (CBFC) will be a 100% member-owned and operated food store with membership open to all. NEBHDCo’s CfHF team has joined this effort by participating in the outreach and membership committee and contributing financial support. Meetings of the CBFC are held the last Wednesday of each month at 375 Stuyvesant Ave, 6:30-8:30pm. To keep up to date on Co-op happenings and get involved, visit www.cbfood.org