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Featured Mini-Grantee | Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID)

2024-06-07T09:48:07-04:00June 6th, 2024|

Expanding Healthy Food Options

The Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID) is a public-private partnership, through which property and business owners support Historic Downtown Jersey City and monitor neighborhood development.

In conjunction with Jersey City government, HDSID works with local businesses, real estate owners, and neighborhood associations to promote the downtown area, improve services, and undertake any and all activity to make Historic Downtown Jersey City a better place to live, work and visit.

A priority of the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District is providing a weekly venue for the Jersey City Farmer’s Market at the Grove Street PATH station. The market operates from January through mid-December, connecting local NJ farmers, artisans and small business with Jersey City residents who benefit from fresh produce, pies, cookies, flowers, entertainment and community. The market is usually open every Monday and Thursday from 4 pm to 8 pm.


HDSID believes that building a Culture of Health means giving inner city communities the chance to shop locally for healthy, organic food.  HDSID understands that Jersey City is dense urban environment with a wide range of individuals and families from all socioeconomic classes. They are committed to expanding accessibility to all Jersey City neighborhoods, and participant vendors generally accept SNAP/ EBT to make it easier for lower-income families and seniors purchase premium goods. 

In awarding the mini-grant to the HDSID, HealthierJC acknowledged the ongoing contribution of the partnership in advancing a Culture of Health for families in all Jersey City neighborhoods. The  market not only provides nutrition, but promotes involvement and interest in healthy living.

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

Thanks to the partnership with HealthierJC and the mini-grant award, HDSID was able to better promote the Grove Street Farmer’s Market, improve citywide resident access, offer healthier food options, and conduct community events.  A Children’s Party was hosted on August 7, 2023, and a Tote Giveaway too place on September 14, 2023.

The Children’s Party was a notable success for children and their parents, and within the first hours of the Tote Giveaway, over 500 tote bags were distributed to both Farmer’s Market customers and vendors.   HDSID estimates that as a result of summer 2023 programming, low-income resident participation increased by 500+ women, children and seniors in Ward E.  Going forward, HDSID seeks to continue the collaboration with HealthierJC to expand the market’s range of products and introduce community health events.

Making a Difference…

“The Grove PATH Plaza farmers market allows people to have access to fresher fruits and vegetables and ingredients they might not have had access to in a grocery store.
HDSID Marketing Director Allysa Dobles

“Farmers bring the most in-season produce, and that’s what customers are going to get,” Dobles said. “Customers can see how the season affects vegetables and fruits. Each season will be a little bit new with a new ingredient, vegetable, or fruit.”

Dobles said that the market “allows people to explore new options. Squash blossoms were a new offering that many had never cooked before.”

The tote bag promotion was a definite high point this year.  Said Dobles, “The vendors handed them out for free, which makes for a lasting connection between community members and the farmers market. We see people walking around town with them, which helps to virally spread the word.” 

In coming years, HDSID intends to drive more traffic to accommodate a more diverse range of market farmers and businesses. “We have a lot of local bakers who are interested in selling their goods and a very exciting soap maker,” Dobles said.

For more information, visit Historic Downtown Special Improvement District.