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Thursday, April 17, 2014
- At a time when big grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are attracting scores of hungry customers, many local family-run farms are fighting to keep afloat.
“We stay in business because some people do get it,” and are prepared to invest in local produce, Jessica Migliorelli, a New York farmer, told IPS.
Nonetheless, many products are left over from each day of sales.City Harvest, a food rescue organisation in partnership with GrowNYC, a non-profit environmental group, uses the leftover produce to help the more than a million people in desperate need of food within the five boroughs of New York.
The scorching summer heat poses challenges for the Migliorelli family-run farm and other Grow NYC farmers selling their products at the Union Square farmer’s market.
David Hughes of GrowNYC told IPS, “The weather…is always a challenge for our producers. Many simply scale back on the volume they bring to market. They also use shade cloth, lots of ice, spritzer bottles and refrigerated box trucks to keep products cold.”
Associate Director of Food Sourcing at City Harvest Lisa Spazato said City Harvest has maintained a steady supply of produce from the GrowNYC farmers that participate in donating food that does not sell by the end of the day.
The partnership that developed between City Harvest and GrowNYC is explained by the latter’s David Sherman as a “natural relationship; obviously we have amazing seasonal produce that is perishable at the end of a long market day. What a wonderful thing for New Yorkers to give back to other New Yorkers at an end of a market day.”
In this pictorial story, IPS United Nations Multimedia Correspondent Shari Nijman shows how the food rescue process literally takes a team to happen.
The Union Square greenmarket is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
The short video interview below was filmed by Shari Nijman.