Veterans-only farmers market creates a safer shopping experience for at-risk veterans

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A Veterans-only farmers market is providing a safer grocery-shopping experience for veterans more susceptible to coronavirus. 

The Veterans Farmers Market was created by Rock and Wrap It Up!, and their Andy Parise Veterans Toolkit. The organization is an anti-poverty think tank aimed at feeding people in need through renewable assets and their Veterans Toolkit is an offshoot program designed to offer at-risk veterans job opportunities, access to vet-friendly colleges, and services for female veterans, reported LI Herald.

The Veteran Farmers Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and offers organic produce, and meats with the help of a refrigerated vehicle. 

“To me, it was all about protecting their health and having a place where we can control the numbers,” said Rock and Wrap It Up! founder and Chief Executive Officer Syd Mandelbaum, who hosts the Veteran Farmers Market in his backyard at 405 Oceanpoint Ave., in Cedarhurst, New York.

The Veterans Market depends on a partnership with local small businesses, Trader Joe’s, and Costco. Any food leftover after the market  is given to Gammy’s Pantry, a free food bank in the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence, which has been crucial in serving members of the community who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus. 

“Syd is very generous,” said 88-year-old Domenic Crici, a sergeant-at-arms of Post 339.

“I’m eating more vegetables and fruit now cause it’s not always there for me in the store.”

“We’re very proud of the program and will use the success to help veterans markets across the United States, at risk, and in need,” Mandelbaum said. 

“If we can feed them and keep them safe, we’ve really done a job.”

For more information, visit their website here.

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