Farmers Market Struggles to Come Back to Poor Neighborhoods

Roy Hildebrant brought a market to Crown Heights; after his death, his widow is raising money to carry on his legacy

The Farmers Market at Crown Heights used to be bustling with customers.

In 2011, The Hildebrant family brought the fresh produce from their farm in New Jersey to the mostly low-income neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. For many of the residents in this area (one of the neighborhoods in New York with the highest obesity and diabetes rates), it’s the first time they have ever eaten healthy.

“He was always about trying to expand and help out inner cities, he understood there was a need for produce there,” Hildebrant told us.

Roy Hildebrant tragically passed away in 2012 of cancer. His wife, Michelle is struggling to keep up with bills, mortgages and running her farm, even though all six of her children are working on the farm. In 2012, she was only able to farm part of her land, and serve two farmers markets in Crown Heights. But this year, Michelle is trying to raise $3,000 by February 7th, with the help of non-profit “Seeds in the Middle.” With the $3,000, she will be able to plant all 45 acres. She has a fundraising goal of approximately $25,000, to get the market up and running and serve at least four underserved New York neighborhoods come the spring. Click here to donate

“We have made an impact, but we need to make a bigger one, I want to be known as the farm that gives back,” said Michelle.

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On Thursday February 6th, Seeds in the Middle will be hosting a kids’ Chef Night with Saul Bolton at PS 221, and it will help raise money for the market