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Farmers market coming to Freeport rec center

The famous Freeport water tower, as seen from

The famous Freeport water tower, as seen from South Ocean Avenue in the village. (Sept. 27, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

A new farmers market will bring jobs for local youths and fresh produce from eight Long Island farms to the Freeport Recreation Center starting in July.

The effort, organized by a community nonprofit, Cedarmore Corp., based at Zion Cathedral Church of God in Christ, on Grand Avenue, will collaborate with similar initiatives in Roosevelt and New Cassel that seek to provide fruits and vegetables to middle- and low-income communities.

Debra Wheat Williams, project director at Cedarmore, said training high school students to staff the market is part of the group’s Young Entrepreneurs program. About 10 students will learn about the local farms and be employed at the market, which runs from July 14 to Oct. 27.

“We want to start them out young so they make better choices,” she said.

Amy Engel, executive director of Sustainable Long Island, said farmers markets targeting communities that lack access to fresh food are becoming more popular.

According to the organization’s website, the demand for food stamps and government food programs has increased by 108 percent in Suffolk County between 2007 and 2010.

“The main focus is not turning a profit -- it’s balanced with fresh food and making it accessible,” Engel said.

The Freeport market will be within walking distance of a senior center and local housing projects. It will accept government nutrition checks and food stamps.

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