Councilman Costa Constantinides announced $10,000 to open a new Youthmarket at the Astoria park, located at Steinway Street and 23rd Avenue. The funding will be included in next year’s discretionary budget.
A Youthmarket is an urban farm stand that hires youth from the community to sell food grown at local farms. The market also provides nutritional education and cooking demonstrations for the young employees.
The children learn about economics, business, eating seasonally and supporting local farms.
“Eating seasonal and local produce is important for our nutrition and to help support our local farming economy,” Constantinides said. “Buying local produce also reduces pollution that would be created through transporting food long distances.
“This Youthmarket will make local produce available for more Astorians,” he added, “while exposing children to valuable lessons about the environment, business and nutrition.”
The market will be operated by GrowNYC with community partner Global Kids, and will be open every Saturday from July 9 to November 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Last year, Youthmarkets citywide sold more than 300,000 pounds of affordable local food. GrowNYC runs 14 of these markets in various neighborhoods.
“Our Youthmarket program is a unique model that teaches neighborhood youth to run a farmstand supplied by GrowNYC’s own wholesale distribution arm,” said executive director Marcel Van Ooyen, “while also helping them to be ambassadors for healthy, seasonal eating to their families and neighbors.”