It is widely know that public markets can become the heart and soul of a community, its common ground, a place where people easily interact, a place alive with social and economic activity. In Elmont it is no different – the energy and positive community interaction was evident on opening day of the Elmont Farmers Market. Local residents rode bikes, walked, and drove to the market in good numbers.
Muzzio Tallani, a local businessman and member of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded the drive to bring the Farmers Market to Elmont.
“This is a proud day for Elmont; a healthy day for Elmont! We have been working together with groups like The Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development, the civics, local and state governments on redeveloping the Hempstead Turnpike corridor – this a small but tangible step in the right direction” said Tallani as he reviewed the setup of the market with Market Manager Bernadette Martin.
Among the shoppers were Senator Martins, Claudine Hall, Scott Cushing and Sandra Smith, Joyce Stowe and members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation.
“Next week I have to bring a fish expert with me" – the products were fresh, tasty and healthy "but I don’t quite have the know-how about buying fish yet. I was tempted but … next week” said one shopper.
Senator Martins, one of Elmont’s senators said "Today's opening of the Farmer's Market in Elmont was truly sensational. This would never have happened without the work and vision of Muzzio Tallini and the support of the Chamber of Commerce and Elmont community. The quality selection of food was terrific and won rave reviews. I bought some strawberries, vegetables and juice and will be back for more! This market is a hit and, in speaking with the families shopping, a real boost to Elmont's continuing revitalization!"
As Elmont's demographics continue to change (Census, 2010), Elmont Online is keenly aware of national trends that show communities like Elmont are more likely to have a higher “prevalence of fast food restaurants” (Block, 2004). Further, “individuals living in racial and ethnic minority communities, as well as low-income communities, are more likely to have access to small corner grocery or convenience stores than to supermarkets (Morland, 2002). These smaller stores tend to offer less of a selection of high quality produce and typically cost more than a supermarket.”
Sandra Smith, Co-chair of the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development knows these trends very well, “during the planning phase of the Hempstead Tpke. redevelopment many residents noted the need for a full service, substantial supermarket in Elmont and the request was incorporated into the development plan.”
The benefits of a Farmers Market are far reaching. “Farmers have direct access to markets to supplement farm income, and consumers have access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce and the opportunity to personally interact with the farmer who grows the produce."
The Farmers Market is scheduled for Thursdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm through November. CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY CALENDAR AND LOCATION OF FRAMER'S MARKET.
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