CCC Report: Green Cart Implementation: Year One
Published September 2010
The NYC Green Cart Initiative was established in 2008 to bring fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables to communities with limited access to fresh produce through the creation of 1,000 new City-issued permits that were for fresh produce carts (Green Carts) that could be only be located in specified communities where access to fresh food was lacking.
CCC’s study of the first year of Green Cart Implementation found that Green Carts were reaching the intended communities and providing them with a powerful tool against obesity and poor nutrition, as well as providing the Green Cart vendors with a valuable source of self-employment. CCC’s Report makes recommendations to strengthen the initiative when the second round of permits are issued in October 2010 such as ensuring all Green Carts are equipped to conduct EBT transactions and expanding Green Cart vendor linkages with public agencies and community based organizations.
CCC’s study sought to document the impact of Green Carts in the first year of implementation, including whether the presence of Green Carts had a positive impact on the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the targeted communities and whether Green Carts were a viable, expeditious and cost-effective method to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into communities in need. We collected and analyzed qualitative data in 3 designated zones — East and Central Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx through: (a) street canvassing of community residents in the designated zones; (b) assessment of produce and pricing on vendor carts in each zone; (c) interviews with vendors; (d) focus groups with adult residents in each zone; and (e) a focus group with Green Cart vendors.
CCC’s recommendations to strengthen the Green Cart Initiative included:
- Expanding connections between vendors and potential sites such as community-based organizations, hospitals and NYCHA apartments.
- Increasing the advertising and publicity about the initiative.
- Working with the State to expand the use of EBT terminals at Green Carts.
- Creating a centralized cart storage location in each borough.