NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Farmers Market continues to please

Free, fresh produce is available for NECC students, faculty, staff once a month

boxes of fruits and vegetables at a farmers market

A crowd of students, faculty and staff gathered for February’s Farmers Market to get fresh beets, cantaloupe, strawberries and more; all free of charge. In total, more than 6,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables were delivered to the NECC Haverhill campus on Feb. 26, all of which was available to any student or staff member interested. “It’s awesome that people who can’t afford it can come here and get some fresh food,” said Chantelle Garcia. Garcia is working on her degree in dental hygiene at Northern Essex, and stopped by the event to grab some fruit. Northern Essex works with the Greater Boston Food Bank to have a truck filled with food delivered each month to both the Haverhill and Lawrence Campus.

Karen Hruska, director of the Counseling Center at NECC, oversaw the event. She said that this program is great because it can help students and her colleagues that may be struggling financially have access to fresh, healthy food. According to Hruska, the Farmer’s Market has been recurring monthly for what will be two years in April. Something that is a little newer, Hruska said, is the Smart Meals food for free program. Local hotels, schools and restaurants deep freeze extra food from their kitchens and package it up as full meals.

These are available at the express centers on both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses. The next Farmer’s Market  on the Haverhill campus will be March 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the One Stop Student Center, SC Building  The Farmers Market Mini Mart will also be held March 26 on the Lawrence campus at the El-Hefni building, 414 Common St. from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.