On the sweltering hot morning of Wednesday, August 4, Wholesome Wave Founder and CEO Michel Nischan, Bridgeport’s Mayor Bill Finch and Bill Quinn, Acting Director of the Department of Health and Social Services celebrated the return of the Park City Harvest farm stand at the Bridgeport Health Department with guests and the supplier of the produce, farmer Nelson Cecarelli of Cecarelli Farm in Northford, CT. The market was begun last year and is one of two Park City Harvest farm stands operating this year; the other is located at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Large numbers of residents showed up, some bused in from area senior centers, to purchase fresh, healthy, locally grown produce and fruit that is affordable. Thanks to a generous grant provided by an anonymous donor advised fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation, anyone purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables at the farm stand with food stamp SNAP/EBT benefits, WIC farmers market checks, senior WIC farmers market checks, cash and WIC cash value vouchers automatically has their value doubled. The Wholesome Wave Double Value Coupon Program has proven to be so effective that it now operates in 20 states nationwide.
During his speech Mayor Bill Finch underscored the importance of the Park City Harvest farm stands to the city. “We’re watering a food desert” and “getting good food to our people. Connecticut has neglected our cities and plowed under our fields and this is turning that around.” The Mayor cited his BGreen 2020 sustainability initiative and identified the market as part of his “vision for the future.” He was careful to thank all the people and organizations who collaborated on the initiative and called Michel Nischan “a great guy who’s doing great things for our people.” He even thanked the guests and received cheers when he announced “The more people who show up at events like this, the more politicians in other parts of the state and country will pay attention.”
Bridgeport farm stands run every Tuesday at the St. Vincent’s Medical Center on 2800 Main Street from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and every Wednesday at the Bridgeport Health Department on 752 East Main Street from 9:30am to 2:00pm. There is free parking in both locations, and the farm stands will be open rain or shine. Cecarelli Farm will serve as farm stand manager for both sites this year. The 2010 farm stand season marks the second year that Wholesome Wave’s Double Value Coupon Program will be available at these two Bridgeport markets.
For more information call (203)576-8046 or visit parkcityharvest.org.