Farmer’s Markets for Downtown Jersey City Residents
The HDSID (Historic Downtown Special Improvement District) is a public-private partnership, through which property and business owners work together to support Historic Downtown Jersey City, and plan for neighborhood development.
In conjunction with Jersey City government, HDSID works with local businesses, property owners and neighborhood associations to promote the downtown area, improve the services provided and undertake any and all activity to make Historic Downtown Jersey City a better place to live, work and visit.
The HDSID runs the Historic Downtown Jersey City Farmer’s Market at the Grove PATH Plaza. Starting with approximately five vendors when the market began over 10 years ago, HDSID now hosts about 30 vendors on any given Monday and Thursday during the growing season. Their vender farms accept SNAP and WIC, and they do their best to advertise the weekly events and the variety of produce available via social media pages. The market has operated practically year-round since they began their post-covid Winter Market.
In addition to running the weekly Farmer’s Market, HDSID operates a “Clean Team” that ensures the outdoor spaces within the downtown retail corridor are cleaned regularly to provide a pleasant shopping experience for everyone. As corridor stewards, they empty trashcans, pick up leaves and garbage, fix any minor issues, erase graffiti and much more! The “Clean Team” has significantly contributed to the success of Special Improvement District initiatives.
HealthierJC + Historic Downtown Special Improvement District
The HDSID Farmer’s Market program closely aligns with the HealthierJC mission to expand access to quality food and healthy local resources. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the contribution of HDSID in advancing a Culture of Health in Jersey City.
For HDSID, building a Culture of Health translates to providing Jersey City residents and visitors an urban venue to purchase fresh and organic foods. Their goal is to offer the community healthier options, while at the same time supporting small, local farmers and businesses. By making healthy and organic produce and products readily available, HDSID hopes people will take advantage of neighborhood access and choose to improve their individual, family and community health.
The Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services (HSS) partners with HDSID and works hard to publicize Farmer’s Market events. The HSS partnership also promotes the use of supplemental SNAP and WIC resources to ensure all resident families can equitably afford to purchase Farmer’s Market goods, adopt healthier eating habits, and enjoy this community experience.
Pre and post-covid, all HDSID Farmer’s Markets were held in Ward E but were open to all Jersey City residents and visitors alike. Over time, people came to rely on the market as a reliable and quality source of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as all natural locally made products.
Given the Farmer’s Market was an outdoor venue, it was able to maintain a community presence even during the Covid lockdown. With the HealthierJC Mini-grant – in combination with funding from in-district assessment fees, vendor fees and sponsorships – the HDSID was able to offset the costs of running the Farmer’s Market during this period.
The HDSID Farmer’s Market operated twice a week at the Grove PATH Plaza in Downtown Jersey City during the summer months. The entire PATH Plaza was transformed from a normal train and bus stop to an outdoor market filled with food, music, and people. Even if someone did not intend to purchase anything, residents of all ages would just come out to the Plaza, walk around, listen to the music, and appreciate being outdoors.
Moving forward in a post-pandemic world, HDSID put the personnel and funding in place to consistently operate the Farmer’s Market year-round. To that end, the Grove Street Farmer’s Market is set to resume in January 2023 and is scheduled to run through mid-December 2023. HDSID also seeks to collaborate with HealthierJC to expand the Farmer’s Market range of products and leverage the venue to host community health events.
“If there is any bright spot that has come from this terrible pandemic we have gone through together, it’s the adoption of healthier lifestyles by so many….Our Farmers’ Market lends itself to that in so many ways, including by simply being outside in the fresh air”.
– Rachel Sieg, HDSID Executive Director
HealthierJC encourages everyone to come out and support NJ farms and businesses — get your fresh produce, pies, cookies, flowers and more!
For more information, please visit the organization’s website at https://jcdowntown.org/ or call their local number at (201) 547-3554