A SPECIAL REPORT
Hunts Point hosts the largest food distribution center in the world, but residents often complain that it is a burden, not a benefit.
About half the Hunts Point peninsula is devoted to the three markets:
- The Hunts Point Cooperative Market consists of 52 companies that process and distribute meat and meat products. Built in 1972, it employs 2400 people and occupies 60 acres of land.
- At the Terminal Produce Co-op some 50 companies sell $2 billion worth of fruit and vegetables each year. Opened in 1967, the market occupies 38 acres and employs 3,500 people.
- The Fulton Fish Market moved to a huge refrigerated warehouse in Hunts Point from Manhattan in 2001. Its 55 businesses with combined revenue of $1 billion employ 600 people.
Where does all this food go? to stores, restaurants and catering facilities throughout the East. But fresh, healthy food remains scarce locally.
Each day the markets attract thousands of trucks to Hunts Point. Their fumes contribute to the area’s asthma epidemic.
Environmental advocates also complain that treeless, hard-surfaced parking lots allow polluted storm water to run into the Bronx and East Rivers.
Residents say that little of the economic activity generated by the markets stays in the community. Few local residents work at the markets.
But business owners interviewed for these articles say things are changing. They are seeking ways to ease the impact of truck traffic. And they say that they do employ local residents and that as current employees retire, they will look to the Bronx for new workers.
This special report examines the state of the markets and their future.