Maritza Owens and Harvest Home: COVID-19 Food Heroes

by NYC Food Policy Editor

Why They’re Food Heroes: The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected low-income communities, but Maritza Owens and Harvest Home continued efforts to bring healthy foods to these parts of New York City from June until November 2020. Many of these communities do not have many grocery stores already, or the produce available at grocery stores is not good quality. Thirteen markets were opened and run through Harvest Home during the pandemic, providing farm-fresh foods to the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.These markets provide job opportunities in communities disproportionately affected by pandemic job losses, and teach the public about healthy eating and home cooking. 

Background: Maritza Owens attended Adelphi University, studying biology. She worked at the National Kidney Foundation, North General Hospital, and Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council since founding Harvest Home in 1993 in the Bronx.

Awards, Praise and Honors: Harvest Home’s farmers markets have been featured by multiple media outlets, including BronxNet, Potluck Video, and The Bronx Journal

Work: As the founder and CEO of Harvest Home, Owens has worked to bring fresh, healthy produce via farmers’ markets to low-income communities. She has worked in public health and community advocacy for over twenty-five years. 

Location: The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

Website: Harvest Home Farmers Markets

Resources and References:

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