Funding supports 6 VISTA members serving in Western New York
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant awarded to Field and Fork Network totaling $117,540. Funded by AmeriCorps, the grant supports six AmeriCorps VISTA members serving with Field and Fork to combat poverty and address food insecurity in the Western New York community.
“Far too many families are still struggling with access to fresh, healthy food,” Higgins said. “Field and Fork Network is a dedicated community partner supporting critical food access programs in Western New York’s underserved communities. Federal funding will allow the organization to better address food insecurity and expand the reach of their program to a greater number of local families.”
A press release stated, “Founded in 1965, the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program grants the opportunity to serve in communities across the country each year and work toward alleviating poverty by helping local organizations expand their capacity to create change. VISTA members serve for one full year at a community organization such as a nonprofit, faith-based group, college or university, local government agency, and more. They provide support in areas that affect poverty including education, public health, climate, access to benefits, and more.”
“Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Field & Fork Network has been eye-opening. VISTA has allowed me to view systemic issues such as hunger and food insecurity in the city I call home from a different perspective, said Sam Attea, AmeriCorps VISTA, Buffalo. “This year of service has helped me to learn how I, and other people, can make progress in finding solutions to the issues which have affected our communities for decades; by working hand in hand with those experiencing those hardships. Double Up Food Bucks is one such solution. I have seen firsthand how the program helps families and seniors in my community afford healthier foods and how relatively simple interventions can increase friendship and trust amongst different communities.”
Federal funding totaling $117,540 will support six VISTA members serving with Field and Fork Network. An additional $38,970 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards will be available to eligible VISTA members. This year, AmeriCorps is awarding $489,750 in federal funding to organizations across New York. Field and Fork Network is one of just three organizations selected across the state in fiscal year 2023.
“AmeriCorps VISTA program is helping amplify the reach of Double Up Food Bucks NY in communities across the state,” said Lisa French, executive director and co-founder of Field & Fork Network. “Our VISTAs play a critical role in educating and connecting individuals experiencing food insecurity with available resources.”
The press release stated, “Field and Fork Network connects communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. The organization is dedicated to creating a resilient, equitable and sustainable food system through programs that increase food access, support economic and youth development, and create healthier neighborhoods.”
To learn more, visit https://www.fieldandforknetwork.com/.