AdkAction has been awarded a grant from Adirondack Foundation’s Generous Acts Program to remove barriers that prevent low-income residents from eating healthy, local food.
The Farmacy is a partnership between AdkAction and Keeseville Pharmacy, which serves as a model for bringing healthy local food to rural communities. We replicated the model at Mountain Weavers Farm Store in Port Henry in August 2019.
The Farmacy is a project that began in 2017 to increase food access in Keeseville, where there are high levels of food insecurity. In 2013, Mac’s Market in Keeseville closed down. As a result of this closure, residents were left with the choice to drive to Peru or Plattsburgh for groceries or buy processed foods from one of many convenience and dollar stores in the community. The Farmacy is a unique non-profit/for-profit partnership between AdkAction and the Keeseville Pharmacy that was formed with the mission of increasing access to local, healthy food to all residents of Keeseville. While some rural communities, such as Keeseville, cannot sustain a traditional year-round grocery store, this business model provides another option whereby an existing business incorporates a farm grocery section into its storefront. This allows access to groceries without incurring the operating costs of opening and operating a new store.
The goal of this business model is to reduce the risk of food insecurity by providing healthy grocery options, as well as the tools and education to properly prepare and consume them. To increase awareness and education around using local foods, the Farmacy has hosted community cooking classes, onsite tasting events, weekly recipes, and incentive programs to remove obstacles to healthy cooking with local ingredients. Dan Bosley, the owner of the Keeseville Pharmacy, has adopted the slogan “Good Health Starts at the Table”, with that belief that food is a tool for good health. Currently, the Keeseville “Farmacy” accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
In 2019, AdkAction replicated this mixed-use business model at Mountain Weavers Farm Store in Port Henry. The Mountain Weavers’ Farm Store is a unique partnership between AdkAction and Mountain Lake Services. Similar to the Farmacy project, the mission of this project is to increase accessibility of local, healthy food for communities by incorporating a farm store into an existing business. The Mountain Weavers’ Farm Store project stocks its shelves with local produce, dairy, meat, eggs, and value-added products from farms and food processors alongside high quality baskets handmade by Mountain Lake Services residents.
Mountain Weavers’ Farm Store hosts educational programs to promote healthy, local eating in the community, such as cooking classes, tasting events, recipe cards, and educational agricultural materials. The Mountain Weavers’ Farm Store
employs Mountain Lake Services residents to staff the farm store, providing work opportunities to residents while building strong skill sets and great community experience.
The Mountain Weavers’ Farm Store in Port Henry, NY accepts all tenders, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program vouchers (FMNP).
Bring the Farmacy Model to your community!
We are pleased to now offer this Toolkit outlining how to replicate our “Farmacy” model to address food access barriers within your own community. The strength of the model comes from unconventional partnerships with existing businesses to reduce the overhead costs while increasing community connections. In the Toolkit you will find an innovative approach for bringing healthy food retail options to food deserts.
A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 23.5 million Americans live in “food deserts”, meaning that they live more than one mile from a supermarket in urban or suburban areas, and more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural areas. While the lack of immediate access to fresh nutritious food is merely inconvenient for some, it can be an insurmountable obstacle for low-income and at-risk families across the country.
The resources in this toolkit have been developed by AdkAction and its partners to address food insecurity in a rural part of Northern New York with a special emphasis on supporting farmers and the local food system. The model can easily be adapted to meet food access needs in urban settings as well. Although the original “Farmacy” was a farm store section within a pharmacy, the model is not specific to a pharmacy setting and has been replicated in other types of businesses with just as much success. Any brick-and-mortar entity that is willing to carry fresh food alongside its existing products or services can replicate the model.
KEESEVILLE — A small farm store located inside Keeseville Pharmacy is about to get a major boost, thanks to an Innovation Grant from Adirondack Health
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