Release date: 11/2/2016

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Receives Grant For Farm Fresh Food Initiative

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has been awarded a grant of $50,000 from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to underwrite its continued work supporting nonprofit organizations addressing the complex issue of food insecurity in the Hudson Valley.

While the Hudson Valley region appears to be a land of plenty for people with means and transportation, many who live in the region’s urban and rural areas do not have easy access to fresh, high quality local produce. In fact, more than one in 10 people across Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster counties receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, (formerly known as “food stamps”). Many more are not eligible for SNAP but are still considered “food insecure” in that they do not have easy or regular access to quality food and may often go hungry.

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, who provided assistance in procuring the grant, said, “The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, in partnership with the Local Economies Project, have supported the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and 16 regional nonprofits in bringing fresh, healthy produce to people in need in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Ulster Counties. This new grant through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets supports the Community Foundations in its continued work in educating the community about food insecurity while forging connections among regional nonprofit partners to ensure that the farm fresh bounty of the Hudson Valley reaches those in need.”

“We are especially appreciative of this grant award through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and Assemblyman Cahill’s assistance. This support allows the Community Foundations to continue to educate area residents about hunger and food insecurity,” said March S. Gallagher, Esq., President and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. “Our special report, Hunger in the Hudson Valley, prepared for donors and nonprofit partners, has identified four crucial components to improving access to fresh food – education, access to fresh food, wraparound services and increased funding. This grant will stimulate collaboration among partners on best practices across county lines, while our report and a new student-produced video are educating people about food insecurity in their backyard. Together, we are taking steps towards ensuring that no one in our region goes without access to nutritious, farm fresh food.” 

About The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

Serving all of Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is a driving force in philanthropy in the region, distributing funds from thousands of donors to connect people who care with causes that matter. Administering more than $53 million in assets, we work with donors to provide grants and scholarships, establish endowment funds for nonprofits and other charitable causes, and collaborate with government, private foundations and local leaders to address current and emerging needs.

The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley’s Farm Fresh Food Initiative, a collaborative project launched with generous support from the Local Economies Project, has enabled Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and other nonprofit partners to find new and creative ways to distribute fresh local produce to food insecure populations in the Hudson Valley. Since its inception in 2014, Farm Fresh Food partners have distributed more than one million pounds of produce and served tens of thousands of people with fresh food, nutrition education and additional wraparound services.

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