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Featured Mini-Grantee | Farms in the Heights

2024-05-09T16:26:54-04:00May 9th, 2024|

‘Farm Fresh’ Nutrition in Jersey City Heights

Founded in 2010, Farms in the Heights is the volunteer-run, nonprofit responsible for managing the Riverview Farmers Market, a cornerstone of Jersey City Heights and the broader Hudson County community. The seasonal outdoor market runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday from the first weekend in May through Thanksgiving, offering a diverse group of vendors selling fresh, local goods and produce. In addition to the Riverview Farmer’s Market, Farms in The Heights provides live music, free family activities, and educational programming for all attendees.

In conjunction with City Green, a regional community gardening organization, Farms in the Heights offers a SNAP/EBT Matching program where market patrons are given tokens that double or triple the buying power of WIC and SNAP benefit dollars.

This program creates a direct incentive for residents to spend their benefits on locally grown organic fruit and vegetables instead of commercially produced agriculture products, which may contain pesticides, fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals. In its 2023 mini-grant application, Farms in the Heights proposed to aggressively expand this program to more Jersey City residents.


HealthierJC + Farms in the Heights

Riverview Farmers Market believes that building a Culture of Health means residents, community groups, and government officials work collectively to ensure universal access to fresh, healthy, and local food.

Beyond providing residents access to bountiful fresh produce, the Riverview Farmers Market provides additional benefits:

  • Jersey City youth benefit from community volunteer and leadership opportunities
  • Jersey City Heights benefits from a welcoming, safe, natural respite that encourages sociability, community involvement, cultural expression, and individual empowerment.

In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC recognized Farms in the Heights for its 13+ year contribution to nutrition, health education, and community outdoor initiatives in Jersey City.

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

Thanks to the Healthier JC grant funds, Farms in the Heights was able to accomplish three major tasks to improve community access to good nutrition in 2023:

  1. Increase the number of weekly SNAP transactions for the program from seven a week in May, to 17 a week in September
  2. Expand outreach to new SNAP / EBT patrons, via social advertising, the HealthierJC site, and neighborhood flyers. More than half of 2023 patrons were new users of the Riverview Farmer’s Market
  3. In partnership with the Rutgers Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), host six food demos that showcased healthy recipes made with fresh, locally sourced Farmer’s Market ingredients

HealthierJC supported Farms in the Heights through event promotion (38 Healthier JC calendar events), staffing a SNAP/EBT education and sign-up table, and introductions to partners like Nimbus Dance to conduct a dance workshop at the market.

Farms in the Heights estimates that a minimum of 700 Jersey City residents, primarily from Ward D, benefitted from Riverview Farmer’s Market programs in 2023. There were 200 SNAP transactions, and an average of 50 people stopped by each of the six EFNEP food recipe demos.


Making a Difference…

“Our core mission is for all residents of the Jersey City Heights to have access to healthy foods,
which are critical to health in general. No one should be left out. The cost of living
is so high, especially for low-income families in New Jersey.”
Farms in the Heights Board Member Beverly Brown

“Sometimes customers get low on resources at the end of the month, and we give them two times whatever they spend,” Brown said. “We want to make sure they have access to fresh produce. We’re committed to that, we fundraise for it, and do everything for outreach.”

The market saw an uptick in new patrons, including a refugee who was so happy about the 3X-matching-dollar tokens that he came back the following week and brought a friend.

For more information visit Riverview Farmers Market (