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Schumer, Torres Support Fed Funding Via Mega And INFRA Grants To Bolster Resiliency & Meet Region’s Growing Food Demands; Hunts Point Produce Market Services Hotels, Restaurants, Bodegas, Grocery Stores & More

Project Will Expand Refrigeration Capacity & Eliminate Usage of Diesel-Operated Refrigeration Units, Reducing Diesel Emissions For South Bronx Residents

Schumer, Torres: Fed Funds Are Needed To Transform Hunts Point Market To Address Food Insecurity, Environmental Concerns, & Alleviate Local Health Impacts

Today, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Ritchie Torres pushed for federal investment in the redevelopment of Hunts Point Produce Market. Schumer and Torres said they support New York City’s Mega and INFRA Grant applications to redevelop Hunts Point Market into a modern and resilient wholesale produce distribution facility that will strengthen the tristate area’s food supply chain, as well as support new jobs and small businesses. They said that Hunts Point Produce Market provides 25% of New York City’s produce and feeds New Yorkers and the greater metro area as they made the case for the Market’s modernization. Additionally, they said the Market is responsible for over 8,000 jobs and its redevelopment will support new, good-paying jobs.

Schumer and Torres said they secured $5 billion for Mega grants and $7.25 billion for INFRA grants over 5 years in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which can be tapped into for this project. They were joined by labor union members and Hunts Point Market vendors as they made the push for federal funds.

“Vital to New York City’s food supply chain, Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx is in critical need of modernization and redevelopment. Revitalization of the Market will increase food security, meet growing food demands, maintain and produce new good-paying jobs, reduce diesel emissions, and much more. With committed funds from the city and state, I strongly support New York City’s application for federal funds via two U.S. Department of Transportation grants. I am proud to join Congressman Torres, Teamsters Local 202, Hunts Point merchants, and all those central to the operation of Hunts Point Market in the push to fund its redevelopment,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer.

“The last two years have highlighted the vulnerabilities in our food supply chain, especially here in New York. That is why it is critical to modernize Hunts Point Market. Hunts Point, the largest food distribution center in the country, serves as a cornerstone for food distribution in New York City. Redeveloping the market will also assist many low-income individuals living in food deserts who do not have access to affordable, quality foods. I am thankful for the commitment of Teamsters Local 202 for their tireless support for essential infrastructure projects here in the Bronx. I am proud to stand with Leader Schumer to push for the federal funding necessary to ensure Hunts Point Market can best serve all New Yorkers,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres.

“We are very happy to have Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Congressman Ritchie Torres at our Market announcing their support for revitalizing the Hunts Point Produce Market. Their support of our U.S. Department of Transportation grant application for $380 million is key. Our Merchants, who have been supporting food infrastructure for over a century, are excited by their commitment to revitalizing and updating this important food resource for millions in our city and tens of millions across the region. We look forward to working with the Senator Majority Leader Schumer, Congressman Ritchie Torres, and Mayor Eric Adams on plans to allow the market to continue serving all New Yorkers and our region for decades to come,” said Phillip Grant, CEO of Hunts Point Produce Market.

The Hunts Point Terminal Cooperative Produce Market (the “Market”) is an agricultural wholesale produce market operating on a 112-acre site in the Bronx. Opened in 1967, the Market is the largest produce market in the country. The market is home to over 30 merchants, ranging from small to large firms. The market captures an estimated $2 to $2.3 billion in revenue per year, or 22% of regional wholesale produce sales. Operating 24 hours a day, five days a week, the Market provides fresh produce to approximately 23,000 restaurants and 2,500 green grocers. 

Schumer and Torres explained that the Market’s facilities have continued in service without substantial upgrade for over 50 years. It has insufficient refrigeration capacity and must rely on hundreds of diesel-powered trailers for refrigeration, running on a continuous basis in warm weather. This project will remove the diesel-powered refrigeration trailers, therefore reducing diesel emissions in the community. The revitalization of Hunts Point Market includes building a new produce facility, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and redeveloping a nearby road to accommodate and improve the flow of traffic.

INFRA and Mega grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Schumer and Torres secured billions of dollars for each grant, to be awarded over 5 years. The INFRA grant awards competitive grants for freight and highway projects to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of goods and people. The Mega grant program funds projects that are likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits. New York City has applied for both of these grants to help fund the redevelopment of Hunts Point Market.

Schumer and Torres, in addition to Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Espaillat, and Bowman, penned a letter to Secretary Buttigieg in support of the City’s grant applications for the Hunts Point revitalization project. The letter can be found below:

Dear Secretary Buttigieg,

As members of the Congressional Bronx delegation, we write regarding New York City’s Mega and INFRA Grant application to redevelop the Hunts Point Produce Market into a modern and resilient wholesale produce distribution facility. The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center (FDC) is one of the largest food distribution centers in the country and a critical part of the food supply chain for New York City, the surrounding region, and the nation. We believe this redevelopment project will strengthen and expand our food supply chain, alleviate the effects of industrial land use and climate change, and support the development of new good paying jobs and small businesses and falling in line with President Biden’s goal of reducing the impacts of climate change.

The Hunts Point Produce Market is an essential intermodal freight facility located within the FDC, providing 25% of New York City’s produce. According to the Hunts Point Produce Market Cooperative, more than 2.5 billion pounds of produce - sourced from 49 states and across the globe - pass through the market, feeding New Yorkers and the greater metropolitan region. It is our understanding that this is one of the most active industrial areas in the Bronx, spanning 329 acres in the Hunts Point neighborhood, and it is responsible for over 8,300 direct jobs. FDC jobs are largely union-based and have historically provided salaries more than one third higher than the average of other industries in the Bronx.

In order to keep pace with New York City’s and the region’s growing food demands, it is critical the Hunts Point Produce Market is modernized. There is a severe shortage of refrigerated space at the market and the site is strained by persistent traffic congestion. The market currently hosts over 1,000 diesel-operated Trailer Refrigeration Units (TRU) to expand their refrigeration capacity. An essential part of the redevelopment project is the expansion of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliant cold storage space. These new units will eliminate the need for the TRU’s and reduce diesel emissions impacting my constituents in the South Bronx. The facility design and circulation plan efficiencies will decrease trucks idling on site, which will help decrease our emissions over time.

The Hunts Point Produce Market and the FDC remained open as essential businesses during the New York State Pause order and its workers have continued to provide critical services throughout this pandemic. COVID has highlighted the Hunts Point Produce Market’s importance as a critical piece of the food supply chain to both New York City and the region. The Produce Market redevelopment is a transformational project that is uniquely able to address food security, environmental concerns, and the health impacts of industrial land use, creating an archetype for 21st century urban food distribution as outlined by President Biden goal of reducing the impact of climate change.

Thank you for your full and fair consideration of this important project, consistent with applicable agency guidelines.