Flushing community launches open air market to support healthy food options

Photos courtesy of Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and GrowNYC on Wednesday launched the fifth season of the Flushing Greenmarket at Maple Playground that will provide neighborhood residents access to farm fresh food from a regional farm every Wednesday from July to the week of Thanksgiving. 

The Flushing Greenmarket, located in front of Maple Playground at 136-50 Maple Ave., is operated by GrowNYC and will be open every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. from July to November. The last day will be November 24. 

Photo courtesy of Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

The participating farmers include R & G Produce Vegetables from Goshen, New York.    

The chamber partners with GrowNYC to promote the Greenmarket and coordinates programming with local businesses, cultural groups and civic organizations. 

“We’re proud to present the fifth year — and most critical year — of the Flushing Greenmarket as a resource for a community that has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is struggling to find healthy and reliable food supplies,” said 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,” Lee said. 

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.  

“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  Catherine Crawford, GrowNYC’s Communication Specialist. “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 works to preserve local farmland, while ensuring that New Yorkers across all five boroughs have access to fresh, healthy food grown right here in our region. A central component of Greenmarket’s mission and operations is product integrity: everything sold at the market is 100 percent farmer grown, produced, caught, or foraged. 

While operating farmers markets, GrowNYC is working to improve the health of all New Yorkers with a suite of food access strategies aimed at getting the healthiest, freshest food into the hands that need it most. 

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.