Food Hub Will Increase Access of Fresh, Local Food, Support New York's Farmers and Create 95 New Jobs, 150 Construction Jobs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and U.S. Representative José E. Serrano today announced $2,484,746 in federal funding has been awarded for the New York State Greenmarket Regional Food Hub. The funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration and will allow GrowNYC to move forward with construction of the new South Bronx food hub, first announced by the Governor in August 2016. The new facility will include a new wholesale farmers' market, USDA compliant cold storage facility, a food-processing center, and other infrastructure upgrades to support local food businesses. The new facility will move nearly 20 million pounds of local produce a year and create 95 permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs.
"The new South Bronx food hub will connect farmers to new markets and ensure our communities have access to more local food, and this additional funding brings us one step closer to the hub's opening," Governor Cuomo said. "With this facility, we will promote the consumption of local, healthy food, create more than 200 construction and permanent jobs, and help build a stronger, healthier New York for all."
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said,"This $2.4 million announcement is a win-win for New York because it will provide the South Bronx community with greater access to fresh, nutritious food and it will boost the local economy by creating over 100 jobs. I am proud to have partnered with my colleagues in Congress in securing this critical EDA grant and look forward to the success of GrowNYC's Greenmarket Regional Food Hub."
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, "We need to make access to healthy foods a priority in our communities. This funding would enable GrowNYC to expand their operations to increase access to nutritious produce in the Bronx and create new opportunities for our local farmers. Providing startups with these resources will continue to help boost the local economy, revitalize our communities, and create new good-paying jobs."
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "From its start, I have been a strong supporter of GrowNYC'sGreenmarket Regional Food Hub. I am glad that we were able to obtain this much-needed funding and I am very happy that Governor Cuomo has strongly supported this project. This $2.5 million grant will allow the Food Hub to expand its operations to help local farmers, provide families with access to healthy food, and bring permanent living wage jobs to the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. By increasing access to fresh and healthy produce, the Greenmarket Regional Food Hub will help improve the health and quality of life for Bronx residents, while expanding jobs and economic opportunities in our borough."
Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein said, "The GrowNYC Greenmarket Regional Food Hub will allow families in The Bronx to access healthy, locally sourced food while providing jobs for the community. I am proud to have worked with Gov. Cuomo and my colleagues in the state Senate to secure funding for this project and I thank Congressman Serrano for his work to obtain this additional funding."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "This funding will not only help to sustain and enhance the excellent eateries, restaurants and catering operations that our neighborhoods and communities are known for, but it also will help improve access to fresh produce and farm-to-table food products that are so important to leading healthy lifestyles. I commend Governor Cuomo, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Serrano and all our partners in government for championing this support for the South Bronx food hub, which will no doubt be a valuable resource to food consumers and a major asset to the local economy."
Assemblymember Carmen E. Arroyo said, "This regional food hub is a critical component to improve the quality of life of Bronx residents. Not only does this project increase access to healthy food, it helps create jobs and provides a boost for the states economy. It helps connect local farmers and businesses with a market in need of healthier food options. I am thankful for Governor Cuomo's support of this project and the work of our congressional representatives in securing this funding. These are the types of projects we need to move the Bronx into the future."
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "This Regional Food Hub will build on our borough's continued success in creating jobs and bringing positive economic development to our borough. I congratulate Governor Cuomo and Congressman Serrano on securing this critical funding."
Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. said, "With food insecurity such a real issue in our community, this investment will make a real impact in helping to bring fresh foods to the people of the Bronx and New York City. I'm grateful for the leadership of Governor Cuomo and Congressman Serrano on this very important project."
In response to the Food Hub Task Force Report, Governor Cuomo announced last year that New York State is investing $15 million in the construction of a new $20 million food hub in the Bronx. The state-of-the-art, 120,000 square foot facility will increase New Yorkers' access to fresh, locally grown and produced food. It will also support farms that are New York State Grown & Certified by promoting their local products to restaurants and institutional buyers.
The new food hub will work with a range of small- and mid-sized farms, providing unprecedented access to New York City's wholesale marketplace. The processing facility will also assist Upstate producers and processors in targeting institutional and private sector procurement opportunities. In addition, the food hub will facilitate the expansion of Grow NYC's food access programs like Youthmarket and the Fresh Food Box located in the Bronx.
GrowNYC President and CEO Marcel Van Ooyen said, "We are extremely grateful to Congressman Serrano, as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the other members of the New York State Congressional Delegation who have supported this project. The New York State Greenmarket Regional Food Hub, under Governor Cuomo's leadership, brings together federal, state, and city resources to protect vital opportunities for New York State farmers, keep their lands in production, and ensure that all New Yorkers have access to their fresh, healthy products. This additional funding builds upon the incredible $15 million commitment made by New York State, and will allow us to build a state-of-the-art resource for generations of family farms."
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "We are so pleased that this additional funding has been secured for the New York State Greenmarket Regional Food Hub. A $15 million commitment by the state under the Governor's leadership helped to jumpstart this critical project that will increase access of healthy food and boost New York's agriculture economy. We're looking forward to officially celebrating the new hub with shovels in the ground."
Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Empire State Development is proud to support the Greenmarket Food Hub and GrowNYC in their mission to increase food security and nutritional access in the Bronx. By connecting local farmers with residents and markets, GrowNYC is putting fresh, healthy food on the tables of our communities - all while growing jobs and boosting the regional economy."
The EDA provides funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the planning, formation, or launch that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth. EDA grants are awarded based on the application's merit, the applicant's eligibility, and the availability of funds. More information on EDA's grant and investment process can be found at www.eda.gov.
Schumer, Gillibrand, and Serrano's joint letter with 23 members from New York State included here and below:
About New York State Grown & Certified
Governor Cuomo launched the NYS Grown & Certified program in August 2016. The program identifies and promotes New York producers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards, assuring consumers that the food they are buying is local and produced at a higher-standard. It requires that producers be verified for safe food handling practices and enroll in State's Agricultural Environmental Management program.
There are currently 64 fruit and vegetable growers and four poultry farms representing nearly 37,000 acres of farmland in the State, and nine dairy processors representing more than 1,300 New York farms participating in the program. For more information on NYS Grown & Certified, please visit certified.ny.gov, or follow New York State Grown & Certified on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.