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Open Air Farmers Market Supports Access to Local Food during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and GrowNYC launched the fifth season of the Flushing Greenmarket located in front of Maple Playground at 136-50 Maple Ave, Flushing, NY 11355. The Flushing Greenmarket operated by GrowNYC will be open every Wednesday from 8am to 3pm, from July to November 2020. The last day will be November 24, 2020. The Chamber partners with GrowNYC to promote the Greenmarket and coordinates programming with local businesses, cultural groups, and civic associations.

“The Flushing Greenmarket comes at a critical time in our community, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is struggling to find healthy and reliable food supplies,” stated John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “When you buy at the Flushing Greenmarket, you know exactly who planted and harvested the food you give to your family — that’s the type of reassurance consumers are demanding and will be the key to helping our local economy recover and get back on our feet.”

The Chamber curates programming at the greenmarket, promoting environmental education as well as activities that support community wellbeing and health. Alice Lee, Chair of the Chamber’s Advisory Board, will be coordinating monthly programming with local artists to showcase their talents and encourage more people to visit the market.

“As we fight the pandemic and get back on our feet, we’re happy to present another year of healthy food options and cultural programming at the Flushing Greenmarket,” said Alice Lee, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “We will be featuring the work of local artists every month to showcase their innovative work and to encourage more people to visit our business community.”

The Flushing Greenmarket was launched at Maple Playground in the summer of 2016 with the support of the Chamber and is operated by GrowNYC, which seeks to improve New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. Located at the popular Maple Playground, the Greenmarket provides neighborhood residents access to farm fresh food from a regional farm every Wednesday from July to the week of Thanksgiving.

“We are so happy to return to Maple Playground this season. Not only is this year GrowNYC’s 50th anniversary, it’s also the 5th anniversary of our open-air Flushing Greenmarket,” said GrowNYC‘s Communication Specialist Catherine Crawford. “We’ve implemented a number of new safety protocols at all of our food access sites to keep shoppers safe, and we’re pleased to bring fresh, regional fruits and vegetables directly to Flushing residents.”

GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Program works to preserve local farmland while ensuring local residents have access to fresh, healthy food grown in the New York metropolitan region. A central component of Greenmarket’s mission and operations is product integrity: everything sold at market is 100 percent farmer grown, produced, caught, or foraged.

“Green Earth Urban Gardens started a local honey business to fund educational horticultural therapy programs for special needs students in the area,” stated Maureen Regan, founder of Green Earth Urban Gardens. “We applied to be a vendor at the Flushing Greenmarket and look forward to participating as a resource for our community.”

The Flushing Greenmarket is located on Kissena Boulevard and Maple Avenue (in front of Maple Playground) and is open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 25, 2020. Participating farmers include R & G Produce Vegetables from Goshen, New York.

Farmers accept cash, debit and credit cards, SNAP/EBT (food stamps), WIC & Senior FMNP coupons as well as Health Bucks (for every $5 spent in EBT, customers receive a $2 Health Buck coupon to purchase additional fruits and vegetables). For updates throughout the season, visit the Flushing Greenmarket webpage or the Chamber’s Facebook page for up-to-date information on at-market activities throughout the season.

Photos from this year’s Flushing Greenmarket are available online.

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