By Kim La Reau, AdkAction Food Security Project Manager
Our keystone Farmacy in Keeseville started in 2017. It is a partnership with the Keeseville Pharmacy whereby we integrated a farm store into their existing storefront. The project continues to be successful in providing access to fresh food for families who live in a food desert, or a community where there is no grocery store.
Today, there are three Farmacy locations in operation, proving that this is a model that can be replicated. A Farmacy store that we helped launch with Mountain Lake Services in Port Henry is now operating independently–the epitome of our sustainability goals in such endeavors. The Farmacy Toolkit we developed is available to all who are interested in replicating this model in their community.
Thanks to funding from CDPHP (Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan), we are creating promotional materials and increased outreach, and as we expand our Farmacy locations, we host cooking classes and plant free food gardens.
To help with all of the above, we are thrilled to welcome an AmeriCorps VISTA to our team. Jennifer Stanton is volunteering with us for an entire year as part of the national service program.
The collapse of groceries has deeply impacted our rural region, with the effects of COVID-19 compounding the already challenging issue of transportation barriers in our area. Our Farmacy model of integrating farm stores into existing storefronts is one of our best weapons to fight local food insecurity. Increasing accessibility through home delivery and online ordering, is core to the pilot in our Fair Food Pricing program.
As we strive to build a resilient local food system, we look forward to leading the way with innovation and AdkAction’s “we get things done” approach.