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May 18, 2009

Velázquez Supports Graham Avenue Farmers Market

NEW YORK – On Saturday, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) presented the Graham Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) with $94,000 in federal resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The funding will strengthen the group’s farmers market program and bring fresh, healthy foods to the local community.  In New York City, where 9 out of 10 residents do not eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, increased access to fresh food is desperately needed.

“The farmers market on Graham Avenue is a wonderful summertime tradition.  It brings fresh, healthy foods to the community, while supporting entrepreneurship,” Velázquez said.  “The weekend market provides a place to learn about healthy eating habits, and this easy access to fresh foods improves the lives of Brooklyn youth, adults and senior citizens.”

This is the second time Congresswoman Velázquez has secured funds to ensure the vitality of the Graham Avenue Farmers Market, one of the longest running in the City.  Previously, in 2005, she provided $100,000 to help the organization expand the scope of its program.  Located on Cook Street at the corner of Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, the market will be open every Saturday and Sunday from July 11 – October 31, 2009.  The market features vendors selling fresh produce, fruit and baked goods, and offers cooking demonstrations each week.  To help make the market more accessible for the community, WIC and senior farmer’s market food coupons are accepted.

“The Graham Avenue BID is deeply grateful to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez for the funding she has again extended to our organization to support our farmers market on Cook Street. We hope to put it to good use for those who work in the market and for the community it serves,” said Leslie Drossman, President, Graham Avenue BID.

The Graham Avenue BID is one of 60 business improvement districts in New York City.  These BIDS contribute over $80 million worth of services to more than 70,000 small businesses in the city.   In Williamsburg, the Graham Avenue BID represents the neighborhood’s largest shopping district.  It provides support services to enhance opportunity and create a vibrant community for property owners, businesses, merchants and residents alike.  For example, the farmers market program offers job training, youth entrepreneurship opportunities and community development, in addition to providing a fresh supply of produce. 

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