Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hamilton Co. program connects people to fresh food

Farm fresh fruits and vegetables are a highlight of the Adirondack summer, but for those with limited incomes, this source of produce may be entirely inaccessible. A new offering at no cost to eligible seniors and individuals in need has been launched by a partnership of community groups this summer.

The Hamilton Healthy Food Connections program offers $20 nutrition certificates to all Hamilton County seniors who currently rely on delivered meals from the Warren/Hamilton County Office of the Aging meal sites. Hamilton County Community Action food pantry clients are also eligible.


“As a rural food desert with so few grocery options, central Hamilton County farmers markets have become a critical vector for distributing food. During a global pandemic, they have become even more essential,” said Sawyer Cresap, Coordinator at the Hamilton Helps Project

While some seniors already receive $20 for farmers market produce from New York State, they must complete yearly enrollment paperwork and be income eligible to apply. Cresap continued, “By providing these additional nutrition certificates to all Office of the Aging senior meal recipients without question, we can ensure more of our county’s seniors and residents in need have access to fresh, healthy food grown locally.”

The certificates come in a booklet with a $2 value each, to be redeemed with fresh produce and meat vendors at this year’s Indian Lake, Long Lake and Speculator farmers markets.

This program represents the collaboration of the Blue Mountain Center’s Hamilton Helps Project and the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation, the Warren/Hamilton County Office of the Aging, the Hamilton County Community Action Food Pantry, and Hamilton County’s three farmers markets.

Eligible 2020 Hamilton County Farmers Markets include:

Long Lake Farmers Market: Thursdays, 10 AM – 2 PM, Mt. Sabattis Lower Parking Area
Last Market Date: September 3rd

Indian Lake Community Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 AM – 2 PM, Indian Lake School Lawn
Last Market Date: September 26th

Speculator Farmers and Crafters Market: Thursdays, 2 PM – 5 PM, Town Pavilion
Last Market Date: September 17th.

Photos: At top: A Thursday morning at the Long Lake Farmers Market still draws a crowd for fresh fruits and vegetables.  Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton County farmers markets like Indian Lake’s continue to operate, with customers and vendors wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

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