North Bronx residents need not be concerned about where to find healthy produce this winter.
That’s because as the Norwood Farmstand at East Gun Hill Road and Dekalb Avenue will extend its operation year round thanks to an initiative by the American Heart Association and a generous philanthropist.
She is Rose Caiola, a Bronx-born philanthropist, founder and CEO of Rewire Me and a member of the AMA’s board of directors in the city.
Following a similar mission from last year, the second wave of COVID-19 inspired Caiola to fund operations of both the Norwood Farmstand in addition to the Project H.O.P.E. Fresh Food Box site for a second winter season amidst unpredictable circumstances.
The recent collaboration will also enable the AHA and GrowNYC to implement a “healthy food prescription program,” for the Bronx’s health vulnerable population. This will allow doctors to “prescribe” healthy food to hypertensive and other at-risk patients through health bucks or greenmarket bucks vouchers.
“Food access was already of enormous concern and a top priority for me. As we enter the ninth month of this pandemic and witness how many more of our neighbors are experiencing food insecurity, I knew that I had to continue this partnership with the American Heart Association and GrowNYC. Access to affordable, healthy food is a right, not a privilege,” said Caiola.
Additionally, with growing demand for nutritious food at the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, Caiola and the AHA worked with GrowNYC to fund the Fresh Food Box Program at Project H.O.P.E., which allows Bronx residents to purchase primarily regionally grown produce well below traditional retail prices.
“Thanks to the generous support of Rose Caiola and our partnership with the American Heart Association, we are able to operate the Norwood Farmstand through the winter again this year,” said GrowNYC President and CEO Marcel Van Ooyen. “We are grateful to them both, allowing us the opportunity to provide a safe, outdoor option for Bronx residents to access fresh, healthy food as the second wave of COVID-19 threatens New York City.”
The Norwood market reopens on Thursday, Dec. 3 and will operate weekly from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. where SNAP/EBT and P-EBT type payments will be accepted.
With every $5 spent on SNAP, a customer receives a $2 health buck good for fruits and vegetables, thanks to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Farmstand will be closed on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve but will reopen in January.