Updated 07/08/2009 12:23 PM
New Farmers Market Opens In The Bronx
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A new farmer's market opened this morning in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx.
In addition to cash, the Echo Park market accepts food stamps and market coupons.
Organizers Harvest Home Farmers Market, Inc., City Harvest, and the Montefiore School Health Program say the goal is to make more fresh food available in the neighborhood.
"Farmers that I've been working with have kind of adapted their plants to come into this community," said Maritza Owens, founder of Harvest Home Farmers Market. "And they come because they know what we're trying to do is offer people access to fresh fruits and vegetables and so they're very happy to come."
"This is critical to improve the health of the neighborhood," said Meg Charlop of the Montefiore School Health Program. "In this neighborhood we see very high rates of obesity, very high rates of heart disease, very high rates of diabetes and very high rates of asthma hospitalizations as well, which correlates with obesity and lack of good nutrition."
Charlop said that shoppers will not only see a difference in their physical health, but also their mood.
"When you eat poorly, you don't feel as well," she said. "You might feel more depressed. So we know that fitness and good nutrition help people feel better."
Local residents like Sally Smith decided take advantage of the new market.
"I bought blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cabbage and zucchini," she said.
"The freshness, the quality, the availability for us is fabulous," said community leader Bernice Williams.
The group is operating 13 markets this year in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Three other markets are planned for later this year in Castle Hill, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Shoppers can pick up their greens every Wednesday at the Mount Hope market from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. through November 18th.