Grantee Blog 2020

Market Season Ends

This year’s summer and fall harvest seasons have ended and with it Bloomfield’s 2021 Farmers Market.

City Green’s Veggie Mobile made their weekly rounds in Bloomfield 18 times this season. This year Veggie Mobile brought together many local vendors and collaborators and saw the expansion of this program into Market Day around Veggie Mobile and then not long after into Bloomfield Farmers Market.

Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services (BDHHS) staff were present on-site to facilitate registration of eligible consumers for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/ Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)/ Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). BDHHS distributed 296 outreach bags and among market attendees. Eight new individuals have been enrolled through BDHHS’ benefits screening program into SNAP/ WIC/ SFMNP contributing to increased foot traffic at the Tuesday afternoon weekly event. Sales from SNAP, WIC, and SFMNP purchases for this season amount to $1200.00; additionally, market vouchers funded by Neighbor to Neighbor Network (NTNN) contributed to $1499.00 in sales among all vendors (majority by Green Grocer and City Green’s Veggie Mobile).

Other programs/ initiatives were also brought to you via BDHHS this year: the 12-week Community Bike & Walk Program (April – June 2021) brought together a total of 83 walkers from all age groups. Prizes (gift certificates from Anthony’s Cheesecake Restaurant, Rare Breed Mixed Martial Arts, Township’s Parks & Recreation Department, and others) were distributed to raffle winners from these participants. The Healthy School Lunches initiative (September 14 – November 9) distributed 136 bento boxes with instructions on how to pack healthy lunches) among market attendees.

Bloomfield Community Garden plans to incorporate ADA accessible gardening options (raised beds) at Millbank and Pulaski parks experienced numerous delays this year. COVID-19 and supply chain/ logistics issues led to the original completion date of mid-2021 delayed to fall 2021, and finally to materials for purchase being processed in December 2021. BDHHS intends to see this project through and expects both gardens ready for access by our community members who are differently abled or wheelchairs users by early Spring 2022. To ensure this, the department is working on a campaign to increase engagement of community members with physical/ mobility limitations in local gardening opportunities. Additionally, efforts will be undertaken to bring the community gardens to 2022 Farmers Market in Bloomfield, NJ.

About the Grantee

Township of Bloomfield

The Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services' mission is to prevent disease and promote physical and mental well-being through policy development, disease detection, prevention, education, and enforcement. We aim to do so in a culturally competent manner that ensures the highest quality of life for the residents we serve.