Harvest Home Programs

Harvest Home takes full advantage of every opportunity to reach people in ways that are meaningful and beneficial to them as they shop for farm-fresh produce at our farmer’s markets. Throughout the season, we manage on-site programs that focus on nutrition education, physical fitness, and teaching adults and children new and fun ways to prepare and enjoy healthy eating.

Play Streets

It has long been known that the lack of physical activity is a leading cause of childhood obesity and other health risks. The problem is particularly acute in inner-city neighborhoods, where there are few or no safe places for children to play and participate in organized activities.

Our six-week Play Streets program is a collaborative effort between Harvest Home and local community partners . Using the traffic-free spaces of our farmer’s markets, children enjoy supervised recreation, games, and sports. Activities are led by groups such as New York Road Runners and the Uni-Project,.

During our last market season, more than 1,300 children participated in our Play Streets program. A survey conducted by the New York Academy of Medicine found that many of these children would have otherwise spent their Play Streets time watching television, playing video games, or engaging in other sedentary activities.

Eating for Good Health

The Eating for Good Health Nutrition Education Program brings chefs and nutritionists into our farmer’s markets for interactive cooking demonstrations that feature affordable and appealing ways of cooking regional produce. About 15,000 adult shoppers and children each season leave the workshops with recipes in English and Spanish that they can use at home.

Offered in select Harvest Home neighborhoods, Eating for Good Health workshops teaches participants how to prepare appetizing and healthy meals on a limited budget, followed by hands-on cooking exercises and family-style meals. At the end of each session, the participants get to enjoy what they have cooked.

The YouthBucks Project

The YouthBucks project offers coupons to children and teens so they can purchase farm-fresh fruits and vegetables at our farmer’s markets. These young participants come to the market on field trips arranged by Harvest Home in coordination with local schools, Day Camp organizations, and other youth programs located in high-need New York City neighborhoods.

YouthBucks makes the immediate purchases more affordable to participants, and serves as a first step in connecting young people to the experience of shopping for nutritious and delicious foods at a farmer’s market. The goals of the program include the following:

· Instill healthy shopping and eating habits among New York City children and teens living in impoverished and under-served neighborhoods.

· Enable children ages 5 to 13 years to help their parents learn about the availability of nutritious and culturally-relevant foods at Harvest Home’s farmer’s markets.

· Teach children and teens that there are delicious and affordable alternatives to fast-food, pre‑packaged, and over-processed grocery items.

Harvest Home works with each participating school or youth program to carefully coordinate and schedule attendance at one of the weekly Youth Shopping Days held throughout the season.

Savor the Season

Savor the Season is an annual fundraising event that celebrates Harvest Home farmer’s markets in New York City. The event features some of New York City’s most outstanding chefs and restaurants, allowing participants to sample a diversity of signature dishes, beverages, and desserts. Proceeds from this important fundraiser help to support and expand Harvest Home’s programs and services.