Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County has applied for a grant to expand local food access.
CCE submitted a proposal in January for the NY Food for NY Families program, aiming to bring significant dollars to Chautauqua County focused on expanding healthy food access and economic development for local agricultural growers and producers.
Food insecurity is a high concern for Chautauqua County, with 17% of residents living below the poverty line.
Their proposal includes the implementation of several distribution sites and events across Chautauqua County, which, if funded, would begin this summer. CCE hopes to hire a coordinator who would oversee the project, working with county and regional farmers, dairy producers, and other state Agriculture producers to procure produce, dairy products, meat products, baked goods, and other local foods.
Over $500,000 would be invested in state products. Partner organizations include Brigiotta’s Farmland Produce who would be the lead partner in packaging state procured foods into up to 500 individual boxes per week. Distribution events will include collaborative sites with the Office of the Aging’s Local Roots Program, aimed at servicing senior citizens in areas such as Brocton, Cassadaga, and Fredonia; St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Jamestown Public Market’s Mobile Market program, aimed at low-income and minority communities; Rural Ministries of Dunkirk, aimed at servicing food insecure individuals; and Five Loaves + 20 Fish Ministries, servicing the ‘food desert’ area of Sherman/Clymer, specifically youth and families.
If awarded funds, the food boxes would be distributed at no cost to community members.
For more information on the NYS Food for NYS Families initiative visit: https://agriculture.ny.gov/news/state-department-agriculture-accepting-applications-nearly-26-million-new-york-food-new-york.