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Beach Dunes Eats & Arts Cafe offers affordable, healthy meals and produce for Beach Green Dunes II residents and the surrounding community in Far Rockaway
EDGEMERE, QUEENS (April 21, 2022)—The Campaign Against Hunger, a leading New York City anti-hunger organization, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and L+M Development Partners to celebrate the opening of the nonprofit’s first-ever cafe, Beach Dunes Eats & Arts Cafe. Located on the ground floor of a 100 percent affordable housing development called Beach Green Dunes II in Edgemere, Queens, the cafe serves healthy meals, household items, and locally grown produce at affordable prices, while also offering job training program. All profits go towards supporting the Campaign’s anti-hunger initiatives both in Far Rockaway and the rest of the City.
In a community where the median annual household income is as low as $30,000, compared to $70,000 in Queens, the cafe is designed to bring affordable, heart healthy food options to a community with limited access to nutritious food and economic opportunities that advance equity. The cafe fills an important gap between food pantries and expensive supermarkets, accepting food stamps and enabling residents to shop for healthy food with dignity.
Located at 4515 Rockaway Beach Blvd, the cafe is open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is available for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. The space includes a cafe, a large-scale kitchen, seating, and farmers market with fresh produce from TCAH’s nearby urban farm.
“Far Rockaway is quickly becoming a leader in urban agriculture thanks to the farm-to-table Beach Dunes Eats & Arts Café and its partnership with the nearby Far Rock Farm, where many of the restaurant’s ingredients are locally grown,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “From the innovative new café and its culinary arts job training program for local residents to the revolutionary geothermal technology used to power the building, Beach Green Dunes II is a model of responsible development for the rest of the city to follow. Today’s ribbon cutting is nothing short of a tremendous step forward in the revitalization of the Rockaway Peninsula.”
“Beach Dunes Eats and Arts Cafe will address food insecurity within the community, offer opportunities for disadvantaged youth to learn and earn, and provide families a welcoming space where they can bond and talk over an affordable, nutritious meal,” said Dr. Melony Samuels, The Campaign Against Hunger CEO & Founder. “A five-day farmer’s market is well-needed in the community and will ensure access to fresh, locally grown foods. This café is part of TCAH’s investment in food and health equity in the Rockaways. I am very excited about the prospects and thank this resilient community for embracing and supporting our work.”
“This cafe is designed to meet the needs of the community it serves – from the affordable, healthy produce to the job training program – and we are so excited to welcome our residents to this new addition to the neighborhood,” said Sara Levenson, Senior Director, L+M Development Partners. “Innovative projects like this take vision and hard work, and we are grateful to Borough President Richards and the Campaign Against Hunger for partnering with us on this. We look forward to enjoying lunches, locally grown produce and other items from Beach Dunes Eats & Arts Cafe for years to come.”
Beach Dunes Cafe sells affordable prepared foods and fresh produce grown at The Campaign Against Hunger’s nearby Far Rockaway Farm. Each week, the community can look forward to a new $5 lunch special, which includes a main dish with vegetable sides, as well as a full seasonal menu. The cafe also offers an immersive culinary arts job training program to equip local residents with the skills they need to work in the food industry, including training in a number of food production, food safety, and food business practices.
Beach Green Dunes II is a 100 percent affordable housing development in Far Rockaway, Queens. The Curtis + Ginsberg Architects-designed development includes 127 apartments affordable for very low-, low- and moderate-income households, in addition to approximately 2,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The Passive House-certified project is a model for resilient design, with heating and cooling provided through a geothermal closed-loop system. The commercial space is dry floodproofed with floodgates and waterproofed walls. The residential lobby also utilizes wet floodproofing strategies, which enable a quick recovery in the event of flooding. And wherever possible, the site is designed with permeable surfaces to handle flood waters and includes bioswales and gardens to treat and retain stormwater.