In New York City, more than 1.2 million residents, or 14.4 percent, are food insecure– 12 percent higher than the national rate. In fact, New York City residents make up half (50 percent) of all food insecure people living in the state, and Brooklyn is the borough with the highest rate (20 percent of all residents), according to a report by Food Bank of New York.
The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership and City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization, set out in 2015 to address this problem by hosting a fresh food pantry and mobile market in the Farragut, Whitman, and Ingersoll Houses Houses in Fort Greene.
And on Monday October 7, the Fort Greene & Farragut Fresh Pantry celebrated its fourth anniversary of distributing over 500,000 pounds of free fresh produce to families in this area.
While residents in this area continue to have limited access to retail food stores and fresh produce, the mobile market has been the one lighthouse of hope for regular, delicious and nutritious food.
In a one-of-a-kind collaborative model, City Harvest rescues and delivers nutritious fruits and vegetables and provides training for community partners to manage distribution. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership manages all operations of the Fresh Pantry, partnering with the Ingersoll, Farragut, and Whitman Houses Tenants Associations to stage the pantry each month.
The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership adds the Fresh Pantry to a roster of food access work that began in 2007 to create, expand and attract markets for fresh, affordable food, help residents grow their own food, increase community food education opportunities, cultivate leaders of all ages and document the food-related needs and desires of our community.