Every day, some 13,000 trucks travel into and out of the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, located in the South Bronx. If you purchased or ate food today—and you live in New York City—chances are, most of what you consumed made a stop at this enormous market first.
In fact, a full 60 percent of the city’s produce and about half of the city’s meat and fish passes through Hunts Point for sale and distribution, making it by far the New York region’s largest supplier of wholesale fresh fruits and vegetables to wholesale and retail food businesses.
Needless to say, Hunts Point is a vital component of New York City’s infrastructure—and today, it appears that Mayor Bill de Blasio has acknowledged that.
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York breakfast in Manhattan today, de Blasio announced that his administration will invest $150 million over the next 12 years to revitalize the Hunts Point food distribution center.
Part of these funds would help create a “dedicated space” to better link New York City to upstate food production. This would be beneficial for the economies beyond the five boroughs, he claimed.
It has historically been difficult for small and mid-sized local farms to obtain space at Hunts Point; many are not large enough to afford the commissions at the market but are not small enough.
Details of this program have not yet been released, but clearly there is enormous potential to create jobs and support food that is grown and produced in upstate New York.
De Blasio noted that the funding will also be used to modernize and renovate buildings and other infrastructure, as well as open new space for small businesses. Hunts Point currently supports 115 private wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 people.
Additionally, officials noted that the New Fulton Fish Market will add food manufacturing facilities, and a nearby brownfield site will be remediated to be used as a food processing or manufacturing facility.
“It’s hard to overstate how important Hunts Point is to the future of the city,” said de Blasio. “These are good, decent-paying jobs for New Yorkers at every education level. Our plan protects those jobs and positions the site to create many more jobs for New Yorkers in the future.”
Photo credit: Jonathan Barth via NY Daily News