Henry Street Youthmarket Brings Fresh Produce to Lower East Side

Market Open on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

July 17, 2012 - By Henry Street Settlement

The popular Lower East Side Youthmarket — a farm stand operated by neighborhood youth — is back at Henry Street this summer with an extended run through mid-November. The market is held on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in front of the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street). The young adults who man the stands are graduates of Henry Street's Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a 14-week intensive program to prepare them for the job market.

"Youthmarket is providing an excellent first employment opportunity for our YAIP graduates," said Gregory Rideout, Deputy Program Officer for Youth and Workforce Development at Henry Street.

Youthmarket, a program of GrowNYC, is a network of urban farm stands operated by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities throughout New York City. Through the Lower East Side Youthmarket, families on the Lower East Side have increased access to farm fresh food; the Henry Street youth earn money and learn money small-business skills; and farmers in the New York City region can earn revenue through access to underserved markets.

GrowNYC, home of the Greenmarket farmers market program, works with community partner organizations to establish Youthmarkets throughout the city, providing planning, development, and operational oversight, and sources fresh, locally grown produce from regional farmers. Each community partner, of which Henry Street is one, hires and employs youth, provides market locations and publicity, and serves as the crucial link between the Youthmarket program and the community.

Youthmarket's training program prepares young people to plan and operate a farm-stand business while educating them about their health, their community, nutrition, the environment and regional agriculture. The training program also educates youth to think critically about the food in their bodegas and supermarkets and the alternative benefits of eating locally produced fruits and vegetables. On the operational side, Youthmarket business training focuses on promotion, merchandising and customer service.