Tuesday, December 5, 2023

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets awards AdkAction $238,000: Extends Free Local Food Program

local food in the ADKs

AdkAction will receive $238,000 to continue offering the highly successful Fair Share program that provides free seasonal farm shares to low-income families across the Adirondacks. The grant was awarded through New York Food for New York Families, a program administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

For qualifying households, Fair Share fully funds a 20 to 24 week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with a participating local farm. From June through October, families in the program enjoy a weekly selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables in their farm shares. The program model directly supports North Country farmers while ensuring equitable access to fresh, nutritious produce for families across the region.

Funds from the New York Food for New York Families grant will fully subsidize participation in the Fair Share program for up to 325 low-income households in the Adirondack region in the next two years.

Since 2021, over 280 households have received free, weekly CSA shares from five farms in Essex, Clinton, Franklin, and Herkimer counties through the Fair Share program, with over $140,000 spent in the local food economy via direct payments to the small sustainable farms providing the shares.

Fair Share’s emphasis on purchasing farm shares early in the growing season not only supports New York farmers during times of large upfront costs but also ensures that low-income families have consistent access to high-quality, nutritious food throughout the entire season at no cost to them.

To qualify for the program, participants must verify that their income falls at or below the threshold defined by the United Way’s ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) guidelines. This approach ensures that those who need assistance the most receive the support necessary to enjoy fresh, local produce, while working to include households that might fall through the cracks of other nutrition programs.

“We are incredibly grateful to the New York Food for New York Families program for their support and vote of confidence to enable AdkAction to continue our Fair Share CSA program for Adirondack communities,” said Hannah Grall, AdkAction Project Coordinator. “While this funding is a significant step forward, food insecurity in our region remains a daily and ongoing challenge. These resources offer AdkAction the opportunity to leverage increased financial support for the future expansion of this program and our other food security initiatives.”

For more information about AdkAction and the Fair Share program, please visit www.adkaction.org/fairshare

Photo at top provided by AdkAction

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

One Response

  1. Ruth Gais says:

    Hooray for Adk Action and for all who will benefit from the nutritious and delicious produce from local farms!

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