The Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market, located at 427 Greenwood Avenue, celebrated its grand opening on Monday, June 15, with great fanfare as more than 100 people, including local and state dignitaries, supporters, partners, vendors, health service providers and residents of Trenton came out for an afternoon and evening of food, fun and health-related activities.
“The Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market is another great milestone for NJPHK and the city of Trenton,” said Marissa Davis, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids project manager. “Nearly half of Trenton’s youth between ages 3 to 18 are either overweight or obese and providing easy access to healthy foods, health services, physical activities, food tastings and education is critical to making a positive difference in their health and well-being, now and in the future.”
The farmers market will open every Monday, from June 15 to October 26, 2015 from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Each Monday the market will feature Jersey Fresh produce, tropical fruits, meat, eggs and baked goods, as well as health screenings, nutrition education, physical activities and live music. Featured vendors and service providers include: Isles (Urban Farms), Norz Hill Farm, Food Bazaar, Franca’s Bakery, Henry J. Austin Health Center, St. Francis Medical Center, FRN Health Insurance Navigator Program, City of Trenton Impact Van, YMCA of Trenton, Trenton Health Team, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension – SNAP-ED and Family and Community Health Services (FCHS).
During the festivities of opening day, local Trenton resident, Salve Bemen, told 6ABC News reporter Nora Muchanic, “It’s good for me because it’s not far from where I live, because I have (a) disability.”
Caitlin Galli of Norz Hill Farms noted that the market provides an opportunity to speak with customers about the fresh fruits and vegetables. “We can tell them exactly where the food comes from and how to use it, and provide them with recipes and tips.”
Children are already taking notice and seeking out their favorite fruits and vegetables. Galli noted that, “A child came up to me and said her favorite vegetable was broccoli; I was so happy to hear that and happy that we had some for her mom to buy.” She also shared that another child pointed to a head of cabbage and asked “Is that what cabbage looks like?”
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County also does its part to make an immediate impact with food tastings. “We contact several of the vendors early in the week to find out what they will be selling so we can include one or two items of those items in our tastings samples,” said Michelle Brill, MPH, Family & Community Health Sciences Educator. Brill says this makes it easier for people to buy fruits or vegetables they just tasted so they can make it at home with the printed recipe sheet that is provided.
“We were thrilled with opening day and look forward to continued momentum as more residents learn about the market and join us on Mondays for this healthy, community effort,” said Marissa Davis, NJHPK.
The farmers market is made possible by support from the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK), the Hunterdon and Mercer County Regional Chronic Disease Coalition, and Mrs. G. It is also in partnership with the City of Trenton, YMCA of Trenton, the Trenton Healthy Food Network and Nexus Properties.