In an effort to address food insecurity in the North Country region the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is awarding five grants as part of its 2019 FarmShare Fund Mini Grant Program. The initiative augments existing hunger relief and food security efforts in the region.
Grant awards ranging from $675 to $1,500 will fund local food access projects led by the following organizations: Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Hamilton County, CCE of Oneida County, the Essex County Public Health Department, GardenShare and the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council.
CCE of Hamilton County is expected to use its mini grant to develop a teaching garden at a local school and to create a mobile market for distributing fresh produce locally.
CCE Oneida County’s project, coordinated through the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Centers program, is expected to develop a local food access plan for a local child care center, implement classroom lessons and manage a “Power of Produce Club” token program, where children receive two-dollar tokens to spend at area farmers markets.
The Essex County Public Health Department is expected to use grant funds to support programs for families including a new Women, Infants and Children (WIC) activity, “WIC Fun and Food Fridays.” These events offer local food cooking demonstrations for parents while their children play. The project will also provide basic kitchen tools and meal kits to encourage the preparation of fresh foods at home.
GardenShare, a Canton-based nonprofit that works to strengthen food security in northern New York, is expected to provide a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) cost sharing program for eligible families through its Bonus Bucks Program. The Bonus Bucks cost sharing program allows recipients to stretch their food dollars, support local farmers and enjoy nutritious food from the St. Lawrence Valley.
Healthy Families Jefferson County, a program of the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, is expected to use its grant to support local food outreach activities for families, including participation in a local CSA share, educational books, cookbooks, nutritional materials and cooking classes.
ANCA’s annual Bike the Barns farm-by-bike event is the main source of funding for the FarmShare Fund and the mini grant program. This year’s Bike the Barns will take place on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at Tucker Farms in Gabriels and highlights small farms and local food businesses in the Saranac Lake and Vermontville areas. All proceeds from the event go to the FarmShare Fund.
Photo of local produce provided by Healthy Families Jefferson County.