July 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A fresh produce marketplace run by neighborhood youth will be opening this weekend in Long Island City.
The Long Island City Youthmarket, as the project is called, will launch on July 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Center Boulevard and 46th Road, and will run every Saturday until November 17.
The market, organized by GrowNYC, will sell fruits and vegetables purchased from a network of local farmers.
The program is a chance for the community to have better access to fresh food, and help the youth participants gain small-business skills and learn about nutrition and agriculture.
Three youth will work at the Long Island City market each week, and will be paid $13 per hour, according to Catherine Crawford, a spokesperson for GrowNYC.
The participants, she said, were selected from a local community partner, and have worked at other Youthmarket farm stands in the past.
“They are great ambassadors for the inaugural season at Long Island City,” Crawford said.
The greenmarket program is not new to the area, with a prior market operating on 48th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard for years before until it closed in 2010 due to low foot traffic. GrowNYC then switched gears and opened a Youthmarket at the site a few years later, but also struggled with keeping it afloat for the same problem.
“Establishing farmers markets and farm stands is a lot like any other business—location, location, location,” Crawford said. “We’re excited to be programming this new Youthmarket close to a public park where there is high population density.”