JAMAICA, N.Y. — For the first time since its inception in 1975, the Queens County Farm Museum will open a farmstand in partnership with a healthcare organization to bring fresh produce to communities in need. Queens Farm has partnered with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to be the farmstand provider for the hospital. The farmstand will be located at 134-20 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11418 in front of the hospitals “Axel” Building. It will be open for 23 consecutive weeks, weather permitting, on Thursdays from June 13 through November 14, 2019 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Queens Farm grows over 80 varieties of fruits and vegetables annually, including 6,000 pounds of tomatoes, 4,000 pounds of zucchini, 2,500 pounds of eggplant and 1,600 pounds of winter squash. The Jamaica Hospital farmstand will mirror the farmstand at the historic site in Floral Park, Queens. Queens Farm has expanded its agricultural operations with a New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Grant in addition to implementing its own land use plans to be able cultivate more land to feed more New Yorkers. The produce at the Jamaica Hospital farmstand will travel just under eight miles from Queens Farm—where it is grown—to Jamaica, Queens.
Jamaica, Queens has been documented as a “food swamp” by Public Health Solutions in a report released in March 2018. Food swamps, as defined by the report, are neighborhoods where fast food and junk food outlets outnumber healthy alternatives. Healthy food access is lacking with only one supermarket for every five fast food restaurants and every six corner stores. Jamaica is one of three documented food swamps in Queens. Eating a balanced diet of fresh produce and unprocessed or minimally processed foods is the key to health and wellness along with regular exercise and the cessation of smoking. Jamaica Hospital is committed to providing health and wellness programs to its service area and found a natural partner with Queens County Farm Museum for this program.
“We are proud to partner with Jamaica Hospital to help them bring farm fresh produce to neighborhoods in need,” noted Jennifer Walden Weprin, Executive Director of Queens County Farm Museum. “Our missions align so this partnership makes a lot of sense. We plan to expand upon this work to support other food insecure communities and communities that are defined as food swamps.”
“Jamaica Hospital understands that our commitment to the health of the community isn’t limited just to treating people when they get sick, but it also includes offering prevention and wellness initiatives to keep them healthy,” states Ann Corrigan, Director of Planning for Jamaica Hospital. “We feel as if we have found a natural partner for that work in Queens County Farm Museum.”
The farmstand at Jamaica Hospital will accept multiple forms of nutrition assistance benefits such as SNAP/EBT, WIC, FMNP Checks, Health Bucks Fresh Connect Checks along with cash, credit and debit cards. In addition to farm fresh seasonal produce grown at the Queens County Farm Museum, the farmstand will feature live cooking demonstrations and free recipes provided by Cornell University Cooperative Extension NYC and health screenings provided by Jamaica Hospital. More information can be found atqueensfarm.org.
About the Queens County Farm Museum
The Queens County Farm Museum is the longest continually farmed site in New York State dating back to 1697. The current site consists of a 47-acre tract of farmland that showcases the 300-year history of agriculture as a way of life in New York City. The Queens County Farm Museum is a New York City Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City. Queens Farm hosts a wide variety of acclaimed education programs and special events like the Queens County Fair. It welcomes over 400,000 visitors a year and serves as a vital resource connecting people to agriculture and the environment.
About Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and Eastern Brooklyn. This 402-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric and Ob/Gyn services. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.
–Queens County Farm Museum
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