The major goal of Fresh Food, Fresh Air, Fresh Start is to provide inviting social and educational experiences for people with paralysis that gives them basic nutritional information, a way to get out into and take part in their communities’ activities and a way to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into their daily planning for meals and activity. 

1.     Because of physical barriers in the built environment in New York City, CIDNY will work in collaboration with the New York City Greenmarkets to remove barriers and provide information regarding points for safe drop-off and accessibility ease for transportation.  People with disabilities have told us about their difficulties accessing the markets because they do not have specific addresses for the accessible entrances, and Access-A-Ride will not drop people unless they have street addresses. Moreover, consumers report not knowing where an accessible entrance to the market is located and that they have difficulty finding the information tent and specific vendors once they are in the market. 

To address these barriers, CIDNY is producing maps indicating the accessible subway and bus stops to each green market. CIDNY will work with Access-A-Ride (AAR) to identify appropriate drop off addresses for people with disabilities. CIDNY will also work with GrowNYC to identify and mark accessible pathways into their markets on their market maps. CIDNY will share these resources on social media, print, and online channels with consumers. To date, CIDNY has surveyed 29 of the markets and identified accessible entrances, AAR drop-off points and accessibility points inside the markets.  

2.     CIDNY and GrowNYC arrange market tours throughout the boroughs. Each tour will include background information about the vendors and sources of food at that particular market, a trip around the market and conversations with vendors about their products, a component on how to use your SNAP benefits at the market, and a tasting of a recipe made with produce from that market. These tours aim to build consumers’ confidence in their ability to navigate the market, encourage consumers to engage with their peers and community at their local market, and provide them with skills to take steps toward healthy behavior choices. 

3.     The program also offers nutrition education opportunities. CIDNY provide workshops on nutritional aspects of the food consumers purchase at the markets, what has the best nutritional value for price, and how to include healthful foods into a daily diet while operating on a budget. These workshops will be hosted at CIDNY’s Manhattan and Queens offices and all materials provided at these workshops will also be available online. These workshops will cover such topics as nutrition basics; preparing healthful meals for the holidays on a budget; fresh produce over the winter months.  

CIDNY’s Project, Fresh Food, Fresh Air, Fresh Start, is partially funded by the Christopher Reeve Foundation.  For more information on this project, please contact Margi Trapani, or Audrey Wang,

More resources

The CDC is paying New York State to develop disability-inclusive public health activities and programs. See more by clicking here: or here: