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Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market Takes Root in Trenton

October 26, 2015 | Community News, Trenton

Greenwood Ave COLLAGEA vacant asphalt lot at the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Hudson Street in Trenton became a healthy haven for hundreds of residents when it transformed into the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market this summer. The market was a ‘first of its kind’, featuring a combination of farmers market standards – fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced honey, eggs and baked goods – combined with unique offerings, including health screening services, physical activities, bingo and community events, such as a BikeFest and fall festival.

“The Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market was a true success; exceeding our expectations and laying a great foundation on which to build for next year,” said Darrin Anderson, Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids.

The Greenwood Ave, Farmers Market opened every Monday (except Labor Day and Columbus Day) from June 15th through October 26th. Over its 18-week run, approximately 4,000 residents/customers visited the market. Over the course of the summer, matching dollars were provided to customers using their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), WIC and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers, doubling customer buying power by more than $2,000. The matching dollar program was funded by NJPHK, Wholesome Wave/City Green, and Sophia Rose Designs/Mrs. G. The market also hosted a series of health screening offerings, including BMI, blood glucose, blood pressure, HbA1c, vision and glaucoma, as well as nutrition consulting and information on insurance and the Affordable Care Act. Combined, service providers such as Henry J. Austin, Horizon and The City of Trenton Impact Van assisted nearly 400 residents.

Physical activity in the form of dance and exercise for adults and children was provided by the YMCA of Trenton and seniors turned out each week for a friendly, competitive game of bingo. In September, the market held a BikeFest in coordination with the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association and REI, which included bike safety training for children, free bike helmets and arm reflectors for adults and children, adult reflective vests. During the bike event, the Boys & Girls Club Bike Exchange provided used bicycles that could be purchased for a nominal fee of $5. Residents were also treated to a Fall Festival on the last day of the market which featured scarecrow stuffing events, pumpkin painting, spooky story time, pumpkin soup and apple cider samples, games and giveaways, and dancing to a Halloween favorite song – “Thriller.”

The Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market was 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. Additional partners included the City of Trenton, YMCA of Trenton, the Trenton Healthy Food Network, Shaping NJ, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Nexus Properties.

Special thanks to our vendors and service providers, including: Isles, Norz Hill Farm, Food Bazaar, Franca Bakery, Krowicki’s Farm, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Henry J. Austin Health Center, St. Francis Medical Center, FRN Health Insurance Navigator Program, NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Medical Home Pharmacy, and Capital Health; and to Beth Feehan, Founder, West Windsor Farmers Market and Chris Cirkus, West Windsor Farmers Market Manager; and to the apprentices Whitney Hendrickson and Jessica Reyes.

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