A new program between the New York City Economic Development Corporation and NYU Steinhardt outlines dynamic food education and cooking workshops to be held in the new Essex Market demonstration kitchen.

New Yorker picking up fruit from a stand

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced a partnership with the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development to provide nutrition programming at the new Essex Market. The partnership, set to begin in conjunction with the opening of the new Essex Market at 88 Essex Street, will feature monthly demonstrations and guided discussions focused on nutrition and sustainable food, cooking workshops, and a food film club.

“Offering food education, shopping stewardship, and cooking demonstrations in the new Essex Market space will complement the variety of fresh and affordable food that our vendors will provide to both visitors and the local community,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We look forward to this exciting partnership with NYU Steinhardt and thank them for their commitment to furthering our goals of supporting small food businesses and the City's public markets.”

“Our goal through this new Essex Market partnership is to support a sense of community on the Lower East Side that embraces the historical significance of food as well as the contemporary cultural landscape,” said Jennifer Berg, professor and director of the graduate food studies program at NYU Steinhardt. “Food production and consumption have been paramount to immigrant life on the Lower East Side. Through the changing demographics of Eastern European Jews and Italians who dominated the community 100 years ago to the Chinese and Latino families who live there today, livelihood and lifestyles revolve around food.”

“Essex Street Market has maintained an important role in providing accessibly priced food to families in the Lower East Side and is an ideal site for our students to assist shoppers working within their allocated financial budgets to purchase healthy and nutritious food,” said Domingo Piñero, professor and director of the undergraduate nutrition and food studies program at NYU Steinhardt.

Classes and seminars will primarily be held in the demonstration kitchen on the mezzanine of Essex Market’s new home at Essex Crossing. Instruction topics will include but are not limited to: maintaining nutritious and sustainable practices in the kitchen, the history of food and immigration on the Lower East Side, food shopping education and balancing a healthy diet. Additionally, NYCEDC and NYU Steinhardt will host a food film club in one of the theater spaces. Alternating between family films, documentaries and pop classics, a nutrition or food studies professor will show a film followed by a discussion or workshop along with healthy thematic snacks.

NYU Steinhardt will also invest in educational shopping stewards to help promote healthy and sustainable shopping practices. Graduate or advanced undergraduate students from Steinhardt will be on-hand twice a month to help guide interested market shoppers in navigating aisles and making food selections. NYU Steinhardt faculty members Jennifer Berg and Domingo Piñero will manage the stewards and coordinate university members and guest speakers to conduct the classes and seminars.

“Throughout the history of the Lower East Side, food has played an integral role in our communities,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The NYCEDC’s partnership with NYU Steinhardt will create a nutritional program which will allow for education on food, cooking classes, and even a food film club. Through their partnership, both NYCEDC and NYU Steinhardt will bring critically needed nutritional education to the richly diverse communities that make up the Lower East Side.”

“Community Board 3 enthusiastically welcomes the partnership between the new Essex Street Market and NYU to provide nutrition programming,” said Alysha Coleman, Chair, Community Board 3. “The attention to the history of food and immigration will recognize and draw our long-time community members while appealing to all in the community. This creative approach will benefit the many seniors and others in the community who have not previously had access to food education while providing important opportunities for community gatherings.”

“The Essex Crossing Taskforce is very excited about this new partnership not only because community and vendor feedback asked for this type of programming when planning for an updated market, but also because of the sustainable support it brings to an essential component of Essex Street Market’s expansion,” said Dominic Berg, Chair, Essex Crossing Task Force. “As we delve into the market’s next chapter, the NYCEDC and NYU Steinhardt partnership indeed acknowledges the deep history of food and the role of the ESM in the L.E.S., by reimagining how it can be strengthened even more in the future. Through its thoughtful programming, the partnership stands to benefit both the community and the market vendors in a uniquely complimentary way.”

“Essex Street Market has always been so much more than a place to buy groceries,” said Jodi Waynberg, Co-Chair, Essex Street Market Vendors Association. “We are thrilled that this new partnership will continue the Essex vendors' tradition of sharing cultural histories and customs through food; creating a communal space where friends and neighbors of every strata can come together to discover, learn, and reflect.”

Next year, current Essex Street Market vendors will move to the new Essex Market at 88 Essex Street, across Delancey Street from the existing location. The new facility will triple the size of current market offerings, occupying approximately 36,000 square feet between the ground and second-floors of the Essex Crossing development.

Essex Street Market has provided affordable space to eateries, artists, merchants and other vendors since the 1940s when Mayor LaGuardia made a dedicated effort to provide street merchants and pushcart vendors with dedicated places to do business. After a period of decline in the 1970s, NYCEDC began to manage the Market in 1992, renovating the facilities and helping to catalyze the Market’s resurgence. Currently, the market boasts 26 unique and diverse vendors, including produce, meat, fish, cheese, bread, specialty goods, and prepared food vendors.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt and its Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About Essex Market
Currently located at 120 Essex Street, Essex Market is New York’s City’s most historic public market. It’s diverse, bustling atmosphere provides unique opportunities for small businesses and an authentic shopping experience for its customers. The collective vendor community is rooted in the Market's history, which has been in continuous operation at its current location since 1940. In 2019, Essex Market will move to a new home at 88 Essex Street that lies at the cornerstone of the Essex Crossing development project - a multi-use development project that will transform the Lower East Side with 1.9 million square feet of residential, commercial and community space over the next decade. This newly developed space will triple the size of the current market footprint, include a mezzanine level seating area, a demonstration kitchen to host events and programming and welcome existing vendors as well as a collection of new vendors and restaurants to the Essex Market family.

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