FoodStream Network (FSN), a social platform that connects leaders in the food industry with local groups to distribute fresh produce and hot meals to food insecure communities, launched its first in a four-week series of pop-up farmers markets in the Bronx in partnership with Phipps Neighborhoods at its Crotona Park West site on Friday.
The pilot program is committed to reaching more than 1,000 households across the South Bronx and building stronger relationships between local community groups, restaurateurs and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) farmers who continue to struggle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“FoodStream Network was created in the height of a global pandemic that brought to the forefront social issues that are often ignored like food insecurity and food sovereignty — and today alongside with our members, we’ve curated a one-of-a-kind pilot program,” said Rich Cumming, co-founder, FoodStream Network. “This Bronx-based initiative will not only help to make the difference in how we provide access to healthy, fresh and culturally relevant produce to families in need of hunger relief but will also help local minority owned farms and restaurants still fighting to recover from the losses they experienced during the pandemic. I am honored to jumpstart an incredible partnership with local groups and community partners like Phipps Neighborhoods.”
The Pop-up Farmers Markets are expected to reach 1,000 households in the Bronx. Each person who attends the event receives enough food to feed a family of four for three days which accumulates to more than 27,000 meals and 18,000 pounds of fresh produce brought from local BIPOC farmers.
The partnership was created to help increase access to healthy food choices for community members in food insecure neighborhoods in the Bronx as well as financially support local BIPOC-led farms. The events will be held at Phipps Houses affordable housing properties in the South Bronx with disproportionately low access to affordable fresh produce.
“We are thrilled to partner with FoodStream Network to bring high-quality produce grown by BIPOC farmers to our Phipps Houses residents and our community members,” said Allison Marino, director of external relations, Phipps Neighborhoods. “This partnership truly lays the foundation for Phipps Neighborhoods to bring together healthy ingredients, nutrition information and cooking education in a way we haven’t been able to do before. FoodStream helped us build the infrastructure to produce the markets, and we look forward to using that infrastructure well into the future. FoodStream’s network of connections is making sure that we can truly meet our neighbors where they’re at.”
The free community events feature free food distribution of fresh, locally sourced produce as well as cooking demonstrations by a local chef, giveaways and resources such as recipes in both Spanish and English. Families have the option to pick up grab-and-go boxes pre-packed with fresh produce or choose produce a la carte, with offerings including sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, kale, apples, fresno peppers, onions, plantains and garlic.
The following are the dates and locations of upcoming pop-up farmer market events:
Location: Lambert Houses, 988 E. 180th St., Bronx
Time: 1 p.m -4 p.m.
Location: Crotona Park West/Lynda Simmons Homes, 1743 Fulton Ave., Bronx
Time: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.