Marcy Plaza Farmers Market, EmblemHealth return to Bed-Stuy for 2015 season

July 8, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Marcy Plaza Farmers Market will return to Bedford-Stuyvesant on July 15. Photo courtesy of Emblem Health

The Marcy Plaza Farmers Market will make its official return to Bedford-Stuyvesant on Wednesday, July 15 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, EmblemHealth and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission have collaborated on bringing the market back to the community for 2015. Its season will run weekly on Wednesdays through Oct. 28, with operating hours from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Ultimately, the goal of the Marcy Plaza Farmers Market is to enable a healthier Central Brooklyn. According to citywide statistics, Central Brooklynites have more adults diagnosed with diabetes than in the city overall (15 percent compared to 9.9 percent). Central Brooklynites are also less likely to regularly eat fruits and vegetables (19 percent compared to 11 percent).

“I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother and I want to see my people eat better,” said Sister Imani, a farmer from the Afrikan Zion Organic Roots Farm.

“This exciting collaborative not only increases the community’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, but also creates opportunities for local and regional farmers,” said Tracey Capers, executive vice president for programs at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

Rev. Robert and Devanie Jackson are co-founders of Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest Center Inc., which operates the Marcy Plaza Farmers Market.

“Our farmers are always stating they are willing to go out of their way, and in some cases travel long distances, to bring fresh food back into the community,” said D. Jackson, the director of programs at Brooklyn Rescue Mission. “This farmers market offers them a wonderful opportunity to give back to the African-American community in Bed-Stuy and the community at large.”

NYC Health Bucks and Foodtown rebates will be given to qualifying visitors. Health Bucks allow market visitors to receive an additional $2 for every $5 spent in EBT. The nearby Foodtown, located within Restoration Plaza, will offer a 5 percent rebate to market shoppers who purchase additional produce from its store.

Expanding on last year’s activities, visitors will be treated to a range of activities including a music performance by students of the Noel Pointer Foundation Summer Strings Program, healthy cooking demonstrations, an appearance by radio personality Angela Yee of the Power 105.1 Breakfast Club and a variety of children’s activities. EmblemHealth’s Experience Vehicle will be present throughout the day to showcase the type of health and wellness support EmblemHealth provides to the community.

Marcy Plaza was created three years ago as part of the City’s $20 million Fulton Street revitalization project. The Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District is responsible for managing the plaza.  

Free exercise classes will be held at Restoration’s West Plaza directly after each farmers market on Wednesdays as part of this Live Healthy partnership.