By Dara Cooper
On Wednesday, December 17, a local child care program will debut an exciting new pop-up farmers market, advancing its commitment to wellness and holistic family care. The Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center, Inc. (BSECDC), a 48-year-old child care agency in the Bedford Stuyvesant community, will launch the market in partnership with Corbin Hill Food Project, a local food hub committed to sustainable food, social justice and community self determination.
This pop-up market at childcare sites in Bedford Stuyvesant (BSRC) is made possible by the support of the Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation's health team BSRC Health team is a recent awardee of USDA Local Food Promotion Program expanding their farm to early care work with BSECDC to Brooklyn wide centers in partnership with Corbin Hill Food Project and other farmers of color in their network.
According to Deborah Boyce of BSECDC, "research has shown that nutrition and overall wellness is an important component to support lifelong learning and, in particular, school readiness in young children." She adds that, "supporting families to improve and sustain overall physical and mental wellness through the benefits of good nutrition, overall fitness and access to high quality food is a core value of BSECDC."
The market will be located 813 Hancock Street (in front of Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center) and will feature seasonal, locally and sustainably sourced food items such as turnips, butternut squash, cabbage, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, beets and onions.
Going forward, the pop up markets will feature other Black farmers such as Ras Oba of Afrikan Zion Roots. When asked why he farms, Ras Oba of Afrikan Zion states, "this is a labor of love. This is something I've been doing for over 20 years and I'm very passionate about it. A lot of the "food" we're receiving is chemical, biological warfare. So many of the diseases we suffer from come from the foods we're intaking. In order to stem these diseases, our people have to eat more farm fresh, organic products."
BSECDC's program's holistic philosophy commits to the education and engagement of the whole family in wellness practices and access to resources to support a healthy lifestyle and lifelong learning for the whole family.
BSECDC currently has vacancies for children ages 3 to 5 in several of their sites and are looking forward to expanding the innovative programming to more children and families.
WHAT: Pop-up Farmers Market
WHEN: Wednesday, December 17, 2:00pm - 5:00pm
WHERE: 813 Hancock Street (In front of Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center)
For more information about the pop up market or to find out enrollment opportunities for your child in BSECDC, please call 718-453-0500. For more information about the Brooklyn Farm to Early Care initiative, please call 718-36-6964.