Hoping to promote a more resilient local food system and better understand regional food insecurity issues, a collaborative new effort has launched the Adirondack Food System Network. Comprised of a group of Adirondack food system stakeholders from across the region, the initiative was launched with seed funding from Adirondack Foundation.
Adirondack Health Institute announced the initiative April 5 after teaming up with multiple organizations to identify food insecurity issues and regional solutions.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, AHI said, market supply chains and trade disruptions have limited food accessibility, especially for vulnerable residents lacking access to transportation and the means to purchase fresh food.
At the same time, farmers have been faced with significant disruptions in market access, especially due to the closure of restaurants, retail, and other food establishments, and the threat of the loss of market access for area farmers.
“AHI is pleased to be serving as the backbone organization, the coordinating body that will provide support, facilitation, and guidance, for this much-needed collective impact initiative,” Nancy Gildersleeve, an executive director at Adirondack Health Institute, said in announcing the program.
Connie Prickett, Adirondack Foundation Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, said “This past year, food assistance has been a big part of our COVID response grantmaking. By connecting emergency food systems with the local food system, this cross-sector network has great potential to broaden access to healthy, fresh food for residents of all ages and strengthen ties with local producers. It’s a win-win.”
Collaboration in the network will initially focus on connecting efforts in five areas: production, consumption, distribution, processing, and food waste management and will encompass nine New York counties, including Clinton, Essex, Hamilton Warren and Washington.
For more information about the Adirondack Food System Network visit https://ahihealth.org/
Sign seen during curbside pick-up at the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Park It – Adirondack Harvest/Almanack file photo