The same week that residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown gathered to protest the closing of a Pathmark store in their neighborhood, Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn proposed legislation to issue permits for "green carts" - which would offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables from mobile food carts in designated neighborhoods with low fruit and vegetable consumption. With the goal of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in these neigborhoods, the legislation would issue 500 permits each to the Bronx and Brooklyn, 250 to Queens and Manhattan and 50 to Staten Island- for the neighborhoods. More information about the green carts is available on the NYC DOHMH website.
While some have praised the green cart initiative,
a resident of Fort Greene told City Limits “We need a store where it has a variety of foods like canned goods and bread – a cart won't do. It’s a nice gesture,” said McDaniel-McCadney of the carts, but “it just wouldn't be sufficient for the community."
Perhaps to promote this more systemic change in access -- a $175,000 grant from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation-- the very Friedmans for whom the Tufts Friedman School is named-- to the Food Trust to work with the Food Bank for NYC and the grocery industry to improve access to fruits and vegetables in low-income neighborhoods with inadequate access. The Food Trust has a strong track record of strengthening development and renovation of supermarkets in Philadelphia in the past four years.