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The Putnam County Food System Coalition

Welcome to the Putnam County Food System Coalition webpage! Please read below for the project summary. 

Food Insecurity in Putnam

Did you know that 28% of Putnam County residents struggle to meet their basic daily needs? As unemployment and underemployment have increased from COVID-19, the problem of food insecurity has gotten worse. Demand at food pantries has increased, and more of our neighbors are trying to grow some of their own food at home. 

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The three community-focused action steps of the coalition include: 

1) Identifying and coordinating geographically distributed long-term food storage locations

2) Developing and coordinating a transportation and delivery system

3) Connecting farmers with emergency food providers to make nourishing, locally grown, foods accessible to every individual in our community.

The Coalition will serve as a collective impact network of practitioners and community members, whose actions and decisions will be guided by local residents. By utilizing an asset-based approach to address needs, involving a diversity of stakeholders, we aim to create an environment where the community can lead and build long-term solutions to food insecurity.

Local Food Security StoryMaps and Resources

Expand the map below

Initiatives

Farm Fresh Meals for Food Insecure Residents

In Putnam County alone, more than 4000+ senior households struggle to make ends meet. Cornell Cooperative Extension Putnam County is implementing a program to address this concern – we’re providing thousands of free, nutrient-dense, frozen meals in senior centers and additional sites around the county. By working with local farmers, such as  SPACE on Ryder Farm and Hudson Valley Mushrooms, locally sourced produce will be prepared into complete meals by esteemed non-profit Second Chance Foods! These heart-healthy and nutrient-filled meals will be placed in accessible community freezers for any senior to take home as well as the Putnam Valley Free Library. 

Funding from the Field Hall Foundation made the initial pilot program possible to purchase community freezers and provide a stipend for local farms to grow produce for the program. Thanks to the Field Hall Foundation, we’re one step closer to creating a stronger and more resilient local food system!

Additional funding to sustain our Bountiful Meals program comes from the Farm Fresh Food Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, United Way of Westchester and Putnam County, and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets New York Food for New York Families Track 2 grant through USDA-NIFA. 

Funding

In order to find lasting solutions to food insecurity, CCE Putnam received multiple grants from federal, state, and local private foundations to support the food access work of our partner organizations. These grants include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA-NIFA) Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Planning Grant and Implementation Grants, New York State Agriculture and Markets New York Food for New York Families Grants Track 1 and 2, and Farm Fresh Food Program from the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, to name a few.

These grants, totaling more than $2.5 Million, move the work of the PC Food Systems Coalition one more step towards a more resilient and accessible local food system. 

Contact

Ruby Koch-Fienberg
Ag & Food Systems Coordinator
rek247@cornell.edu
845-278-6738x222

Last updated January 25, 2024