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Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket
Celebrates One-year Anniversary

Each Sunday for the past year, the Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket has brought farmers from throughout New York State to the corner of 92nd Street and First Avenue in Manhattan, to sell fresh fruit and vegetables to the residents of nearby New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments and the surrounding neighborhood.

Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket One Year Anniversary
NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez (center) celebrates the one year anniversary of the Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket with CAU Commissioner Nazli Parvizi (far left), Council Member Dan Garodnick (left) and Assembly Member Jonathan Bing (right).
Photo credit: Kevin Devoe

On a breezy July 22nd, NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez joined those residents, as well as the City's Community Assistance Unit (CAU) Commissioner Nazli Parvizi, Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz, and elected officials, to celebrate the market's one-year anniversary and to announce that the Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket is now accepting Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. EBT is an electronic payment system that allows Food Stamp recipients to purchase food using a state issued debit card.

"NYCHA is proud to be a partner in promoting healthy choices for New Yorkers," the Chairman said. "With EBT cards accepted at the Greenmarket, healthy food is even more convenient and affordable."

Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket shoppers
Sharon Martinez (left) shops at the Greenmarket regularly with her children and mom,
Lydia Comacho (right).
Photo credit: Kevin Devoe

Sharon Martinez, a resident of the nearby Jefferson Houses and a mother of three, is a regular shopper at the Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket. "I think the Greenmarket is very important; especially for children," said Ms. Martinez. "I buy cherries, apples, peaches, carrots, onions, and broccoli." Ms. Martinez said she makes soup with the vegetables and gives the children fruit for snacks.

Rhea Tabakin, who has lived on 89th Street and First Avenue since the 1960s, said she has been to the Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket every week since it opened. When asked what her favorite produce is, she replied, "Where do I start? It depends on the time of year. I buy all of my fruit here, all of my vegetables. I also like to try new things like purslane, a wonderful green that I can't find anywhere else."

Holmes/Isaacs Greenmarket
A neighborhood resident admires the fresh variety of produce for sale at the Greenmarket.
Photo credit: Kevin Devoe

While chopping vegetables for an onion, garlic and corn salsa, Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz explained that there are a total of 44 Greenmarket sites throughout the City, 17 that operate year-round, and another 27 that are seasonal. Holmes/Isaacs is now one of 13 Greenmarket sites that accept EBT cards.

The City's Community Affairs Unit worked with City Council Member Dan Garodnick to facilitate the Greenmarket's opening last summer, and it was Council Member Garodnick's words that, perhaps, best summed up the sentiment of the day. "The 92nd Street Greenmarket is a model for serving public housing communities, as well as for building a bridge to connect neighbors. I look forward to another successful year."

By Eileen Elliott
July 24, 2007