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Fair Food Program

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Food from small-scale family farms is often more expensive than food at chain grocery stores, putting it out of reach for many Adirondack families. It is also more  sustainable, ethical, and better for our local economy. We are working towards a future in which Adirondack farmers can feed the region and local families can afford to buy local food by providing funding to purchase farm fresh products for qualifying families.

  

 

Want to eat local but need help?

If you live in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, or Hamilton County, NY and are a low or middle income household, you may qualify for AdkAction’s Fair Food Program, a new effort that offers funding through pre-paid credit cards to purchase locally produced foods directly from farmers.

Local Food for Every Body

In March 2020, AdkAction partnered with the Hub on the Hill to launch our Emergency Food Packages (EFP) project to assist local families facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 crisis. The project succeeded in delivering thousands of healthy food packages to people in need while also supporting hard working farmers across the region.

We are working to ensure that families identified during the EFP project, and many more like them, continue to have access to locally-grown ingredients and nutritious meals delivered to their doorsteps long into the future, and that the new sales channel opened up by the project for area farmers continues to grow. In October, our COVID-19 relief project officially transitioned into a two-pronged pilot program for a more lasting solution: Farm Fresh Packages by the Hub on the Hill, and Fair Food Pricing by AdkAction.

The general public can now buy a farm fresh package (an evolved version of the EFP) along with other locally-produced food directly from the Hub on the Hill’s farm store in Essex, NY, or order for home delivery from the Hub’s Mobile Market. SNAP recipients can now use their EBT card and incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks to pay for the packages, which are filled with a selection of farm fresh food.

AdkAction is piloting a new program to help bring locally-produced food into reach for those hovering just above the poverty line. The Fair Food Program provides funding to qualified households through pre-paid credit cards, called our Fair Food Cards, to purchase Farm Fresh Packages and other food sold by the Hub on the Hill – the first vendor to be added in this pilot phase. Now in year two, additional farm vendors have since been added to the list, including many who sell their goods at local farmers’ markets and their own farm stores. 

The Fair Food Program helps overcome several barriers to local food access in the Adirondacks:

  • Existing incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks help increase access to NY-grown fruits and vegetables. We think that dairy, eggs, meat, and value-added products are also critical components of a healthy, year-round, local diet. This is especially true in winter, when few fruits and vegetables are grown in the North Country.
  • While 11% of the households in the counties that make up the Adirondacks are eligible for benefits through Federal Poverty Guidelines, an additional 28% are one emergency away from landing in poverty – households defined by United Way as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). By using ALICE income thresholds as the guideline for Fair Food Program eligibility, we can assist many Adirondack residents who don’t qualify for SNAP, or who may inconsistently qualify due to seasonal employment. 

Our Progress

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participating households
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free farm share boxes distributed over 20 weeks
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farms benefiting from the program

Gratitude for Our Funders

Thank you to Adirondack Foundation, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, and New York State Health Foundation (NYS Health) for grant support that is helping us build capacity and strengthen partnerships to effect long-term change in Adirondack communities.

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