Mayor de Blasio Announces $150 Million Investment in Hunts Point Food Distribution Center
While enjoying a home-cooked meal or visiting your favorite NYC restaurant, have you ever stopped to wonder exactly where your food comes from?
The likely answer is the Bronx.
Approximately 50% of the food that arrives to you via home cooked meals, restaurants, and New York City stores passes through the NYCEDC-managed Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The cluster of wholesale markets in the South Bronx is one of the most important sites in the city. Its 329 acres support 115 private wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 people.
From the 1960s, local vendors from throughout the city were relocated to the Bronx in order to achieve economies of scale and to refrigerate and prepare food from a central location. The Fulton Fish Market moved north from Manhattan’s South Street in 2005, completing the process. The produce, meat, and fish that make their way to New York City via truck, rail, ship, and plane through the Hunts Point Peninsula for transport on to kitchens and tables throughout the five boroughs.
To strengthen the wholesale markets and keep the food distribution center competitive, Mayor de Blasio just announced an investment of $150 million over 12 years to modernize the buildings and facilities, activate underutilized space, and provide space for dozens of small businesses to set up shop at the distribution center. These investments will not only enhance the capacity of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, but also generate nearly 900 construction jobs and approximately 500 permanent jobs.
As important as it is to the lives of New Yorkers, the distribution center’s vulnerabilities were exposed two years ago. If Hurricane Sandy had hit 12 hours earlier, Hunts Point would have been flooded, the facility would’ve lost power, and food supply chains to the entire New York City region might have been disrupted.
To prevent that, the city also recently committed $25 million in capital upgrades to the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center for major resiliency upgrades to the facility. This investment matches the $20 million allocated to Hunts Point resiliency last summer through the US Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design program.
We’re also working with our partners at the state level to increase integration with upstate and regional food distribution, support local farms, and provide growth opportunities for emerging regional food distribution models.
New York City has never tasted better.