$2 Million Grant to Support Local Farmers and Families
CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OF PUTNAM COUNTY AWARDED $2 MILLION THROUGH NEW YORK FOOD FOR NEW YORK FAMILIES PROGRAM
PUTNAM COUNTY, NY – November 2023 – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $2 million grant through the New York Food for New York Families program. The program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the New York State Department Agriculture and Markets, is part of a statewide initiative aimed at supporting local farmers, improving community access to local foods, and reinforcing the resilience of New York’s food system.
CCE Putnam County will use the grant to purchase $1.3 million worth of locally grown food products, including meat, eggs, and culturally relevant produce. Meals on Main Street (MOMS), based in Westchester County, will organize the distribution of the free provisions across Putnam, Westchester, and Dutchess counties, making regular stops to public and easily accessible sites with a mobile truck. This new program builds on the growing community-based food security programs MOMS currently offers in Westchester County.
Putnam County faces significant economic challenges, reporting the highest cost of living in the state (Economic Policy Institute). Nearly one in three individuals in the county grapple with financial instability, living paycheck to paycheck (United Way of Westchester and Putnam County). This program aims to alleviate the pressing dilemma residents face between buying groceries and paying rent.
“We are honored to receive this grant, which will significantly contribute to our mission of supporting local farmers and addressing food insecurity in Putnam and nearby counties,” said Ruby Koch-Fienberg, Agriculture and Food Systems Coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County. “This funding will empower us to expand our reach, ensuring that more families have access to free, culturally relevant and nutrient-dense foods while simultaneously supporting our local agricultural community. We are grateful to the USDA and Governor Hochul for their commitment to strengthening New York’s food system.”
This grant is just one piece of the collaborative food systems work CCE Putnam, Meals on Main Street, and the Putnam County Food Systems Coalition are doing to create a resilient and sustainable food supply that benefits both farmers and the community. If you’re a local New York State farmer and want to supply for the program, or a community member keen on volunteering, contact Ruby Koch-Fienberg at Rek247@cornell.edu.
For information about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County’s community programs and events go to cceputnamcounty.org/. Stay connected to CCEPC on Facebook at Facebook.com/cceputnam, and Instagram at Instagram.com/cceputnam and Twitter/@CCEPUTNAM
Meals on Main Street by Caritas of Port Chester, Inc provides food, clothing, counseling and emergency services, such as eviction prevention to anyone in need in the Port Chester, NY area and the surrounding area. Learn more at https://www.mealsonmainst.org/