social enterprise start up
In 2008, New York City Council passed Local Law 9, signed by Mayor Bloomberg on March 13, 2008, which established 1,000 permits for Green Carts. Green Carts may only sell raw fruits and vegetables such as whole carrots, bananas and apples and berries. The precincts where Green Carts are permitted to vend have limited availability of fresh produce and according to the city’s annual Community Healthy Survey, 14% or more of adults reported eating no fruits and vegetables the day before.
When Green Carts launched in 2008, the Mayor’s Fund received funding from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund (LMTIF) on behalf of DOHMH to provide technical and business assistance to Green Cart vendors- this is now known as the NYC Green Cart Initiative. This initiative aims to increase the accessibility of fresh produce in underserved areas of New York City while creating an entrepreneurship opportunity for individuals interested in mobile food vending. In 2012, LMTIF supplied an additional grant to the Mayor’s Fund to provide assistance to the network of community based organizations that aim to support Green Cart vendors.
Through this Grant the Mayor’s Fund and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) will partner with Bon Secours NY Healthy Communities Initiative to provide business and technical assistance to existing and new Green Cart vendors throughout Green Cart precinct 34 (Upper Manhattan). This business and technical assistance will be funded by a grant to the Mayor’s Fund from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund (LMTIF) and will be monitored by DOHMH to ensure that it supports the Green Cart Initiative.
BSNY Healthy Communities will parter with groups such as City Harvest, Inc. and leverage our other existing networks to promote supporting Green Cart businesses.The potential of NYC Green Carts to provide new retail outlets for fresh produce in NYC neighborhoods rests on the viability of the vendors’ businesses. Healthy Communities will employ range of business support services to Green Cart vendors. These services, range from assistance with the Green Cart permit application to site selection, produce purchasing advice, and small business financing workshops, immigration services, personal finance workshops, will be valuable resources to our potential vendors.