We have some sad news: today is the last day you’ll be able to go to the farmers market outside the Q at Parkside because the group that runs it, Seeds in the Middle, said it has run out of funds. You can go to the final Parkside market from 1pm to 6pm today.
The group is also shuttering its farmers markets in Crown Heights and Prospect Park because of funding issues, leaving many residents incredibly disappointed – including our neighbors who fought for a long time to get the Parkside operation up and running.
The founders of Seeds in the Middle – former Daily News journalist Nancie Katz and veteran Brooklyn principal Solomon Long – stressed that the markets haven’t only provided fresh produce but have helped teenagers learn about job opportunities and nutrition. You can read more about their experiences at this blog written by teenagers working at the farmers markets this summer.
From an email we received yesterday from Seeds in the Middle:
Seeds in the Middle Farmers Markets bring fresh produce to central Brooklyn neighborhoods deprived of low-cost nutritional options, a necessity to fight obesity and preventable diseases and raise healthy children. Our not-for-profit, founded in 2009 and developed in Crown Heights, has joyfully and successfully met its goals.
For five years, Seeds in the Middle, mainly manned by volunteers, has implemented and developed effective models to empower schools and their communities to get easy, affordable access to fresh food and fitness and create healthier environments. These include farmers and youth markets, chef nights, school gardens, cooking, sports and arts programs, and integrating health and environmental education into curriculum at underserved schools. Farmers, volunteers, residents want them to continue.
Community members thank family farmers, like RH Farms and Jamerican Farms, for taking the financial risks to travel to high-need obesity epidemic zones like Crown Heights and Lefferts Gardens. They express desire and appreciation for our programs. But Seeds in the Middle is out of resources.
No monies have been forthcoming from the city or state or federal government for the farmers markets. Public donations are too small and insufficient to operate. Seeds in the Middle simply has not succeeded at raising the financial backing necessary to thrive and continue.
Now, Seeds in the Middle must suspend operations.
Seeds in the Middle thanks the hundreds of volunteers, partners, funders and members of the communities responsible for our success in helping improve health, education and well-being in obesity epidemic neighborhoods and all who have supported our endeavor.