Cypress Hills’ new farmers market offers healthy eating to underserved residents

7/30/2015, 8:31 p.m.
In communities throughout New York City, access to affordable, nutritious food has been scarce, with residents stuck having to walk ...
Fresh food

In addition, physicians from HHC East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a division of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and Gotham Health, will write “prescriptions” for families to eat more fruit and vegetables. Patients then receive Health Bucks that can be used at farmers markets throughout the city. HHC East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center is one of 12 HHC sites through New York City offering farmers markets this season. The community served by HHC East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center receives full spectrum, patient-centered primary and preventive health services for children and adults.

“At East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center, we strive to find opportunities to help our community obtain the resources they need for healthier lifestyle changes,” said Mari Millet, associate executive director of the East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center. “The integration of access to healthy food choices and health education is an example of how HHC and ENYDTC is helping our patients and the communities we serve throughout New York City, make the connection to healthy eating, overall health and better chronic disease management.”

The market is a part of LISC NYC’s Communities for Healthy Food NYC, a $1.6 million, place-based initiative funded by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund to address the issues of diet-related diseases, poverty and unemployment. Communities for Healthy Food integrates access to healthy and affordable food into every aspect of comprehensive community development work in four neighborhoods across the city, including Cypress Hills and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, Mt. Eden in the Bronx and West Harlem.

“The opening of the new Pitkin Verde Farmers Market represents an important step in increasing access to healthy, affordable food in Cypress Hills and East New York,” said Rick Luftglass, executive director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “Through our support of LISC NYC, we hope to ensure that this community not only has increased access to nutritious food, but also economic opportunities and services that combat health disparities.”

Sam Marks, LISC NYC’s executive director, agreed. “Ready access to affordable, fresh foods has often been a tremendous barrier to underserved communities throughout New York, and working with our partners will help us overcome those barriers,” he said. “This unique connection between the farmers market and the health clinic means we can expand access to affordable, nutritious food and to primary care services in an area where people struggle to find both. That’s a critical piece of our work to help address the root causes of poor health from affordable housing to quality schools, access to primary care, good jobs and safe places to exercise.”

CHLDC is a community development organization serving the community of Cypress Hills and East New York, a low-to-moderate income neighborhood with a large immigrant population. Local residents and merchants founded CHLDC in 1983 to improve their community. Today, we serve over 9,000 residents each year through a wide array of programs. With community residents leading the way, the mission of CHLDC is to build a strong, sustainable Cypress Hills and East New York, where youth and adults achieve educational and economic success, secure affordable housing and develop leadership skills to transform their lives and community. For more information, visit www.cypresshills.org/chw.

East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center is a state-of-the-art health care facility, providing quality primary care, encompassing specialties and sub-specialties, meeting the needs of the communities we serve while improving health disparities across East New York, Brownsville and Crown Heights. It is our goal to be the “medical home” for East New York, Brownsville and Crown Heights. We are the leading delivery care model for ambulatory and urgent care, primary and specialty services. We accomplish this by focusing our energy and resources on strengthening operations and providing high quality, low cost patient-centered care while exceeding customer service expectations in a way that fosters strong relationships with our patients and staff. It is our belief that a model for true patient care addresses the “whole being” in all aspects of health—social, physical, emotional and intellectual with pride, passion and purpose. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/about/About-HospServices-PrimaryPre-EastNY.shtml.