Construction on a 60,000-square-foot cold-storage facility in Hunts Point has begun, with the goal of helping feed underserved New Yorkers high-quality food grown by farmers upstate.
The New York State Regional Food Hub, to be located at the corner of Halleck Street & Viele Avenue on the peninsula, is a joint project between the city and state. The new hub is expected to strengthen the local food economy and improve access to healthy and affordable food for low-income communities, while creating about 80 additional living-wage jobs in the neighborhoods where the environmental grassroots group GrowNYC and its local partners operate.
“Prior to the pandemic, many Bronx residents suffered from food insecurity. COVID-19 has exacerbated this and has shown its impact will be felt for a long time,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said in a statement. His office allocated $600,000 towards the new hub, to “benefit local farmers, create true living wage jobs and aid in providing access to healthy food for our most vulnerable communities during this global crisis and for years to come.”
According to City Harvest, nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers experienced food insecurity in 2020, including one in five New York City children.
“Before the pandemic, New Yorkers were experiencing food insecurities and unstable access to fresh, healthy food items at levels unlike any other in the country,” stated City Councilman Rafael Salamanca. “COVID-19 exacerbated these inequities, leaving supermarket shelves in my district and many others bare of any fruit, produce or vegetables.With this facility in the South Bronx, the most vulnerable New Yorkers in the borough will have access to the freshest and healthiest food items via GrowNYC’s partners in the farming industry.”