NY City Council Green Carts Program Putting More Fresh Produce in “Food Deserts”

Food deserts are areas where communities don’t have access to healthy, fresh food. Communities are blocked for economic and geographic reasons from accessing good food.

Last week, New York City council passed legislation that would issue 1,000 new permits for Green Carts that would sell fresh fruit and vegetables in “food desert” neighborhoods, mostly in Brooklyn and The Bronx. Some of these carts could be on the streets as early as this spring.

If you live in NYC and want to see if the program will be run in your police precinct, check out the legislation

“The bill raised fierce opposition from produce and supermarket associations throughout the city,” reports the Gotham Gazette. Delis and grocery stores complain that cart vendors have less overhead and can siphon their business.

Some people believe that if people living in low-income neighborhoods wanted access to fresh foods, enterprising shop keepers would sell it, reports Reuters. Others say that lack of access to a variety of fresh produce forces residents into making unhealthy choices.

We’ve long been frustrated by the overwhelming bounty of the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market, while a few blocks away in Crown Heights, little quality produce is available. We haven’t heard how this produce will be sourced, but we hope some of it will come from New York State farmers.

Do you know about government programs taking on food access issues in your town?

(photo: Chris for TheKitchn.com)