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NYS: $1.1 million awarded through SNAP-Ed Food Box & Community Growers programs


Mon, Apr 29th 2024 02:00 pm

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM), in partnership with the Office of Temporary and Disability Services (OTDA), announced over $1.1 million has been awarded to 34 organizations through the second round of two Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (SNAP-Ed) grant programs.

The SNAP-Ed Food Box and Community Growers grant programs provide funding to eligible groups to further expand access to fresh, affordable foods in underserved communities across New York and support the state’s agricultural industry. In 2022, AGM awarded nearly $1.1 million to 32 organizations across New York through these programs.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The SNAP-Ed Food Box and Community Growers grant programs are critical in boosting the production and consumption of healthy foods across New York state, particularly in historically underserved communities. We’re already seeing the projects awarded in 2022 make such a great impact across New York state, and I know that the funding awarded today will build on that work and continue helping our communities in a big way. I’m grateful for our partnership with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and their help in getting this terrific program off the ground. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.”

OTDA Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “Increasing access to locally grown nutritious and affordable produce can have a profound impact on health outcomes for low-income households. The community-led initiatives funded through these grants will help empower families, SNAP recipients, and all New Yorkers to learn more about their food choices and improve their health and well-being. We are grateful for Gov. Hochul’s continued commitment to ensuring that underserved communities have access to affordable, nutritious, locally grown food.”

Community Growers Grant Program

The SNAP-Ed Community Growers Grant program supports urban farming and nutrition education. The program provides direct assistance to community-led gardens and not-for-profit farms that work to combat food insecurity in under-resourced areas and help food-insecure communities develop an interest and skillset to grow and cook healthy, locally produced food. This initiative recently expanded to serve nutritionally underserved communities across all of New York. Through this funding round, over $999,000 has been awarded to 21 grantees across the state.

Locally, $50,000 was awarded to Grassroots Gardens of Western New York, Community Gardens & Nutrition Education 2024.

Food Box Grant Program

The SNAP-Ed Food Box Grant Program works to expand access to nutritious and locally grown produce to communities at reduced rates, while working to connect farmers with new markets and drive growth in New York’s agricultural industry. This statewide grant program encourages participants to make local produce available and accessible to SNAP-eligible and food-insecure communities, while simultaneously providing nutrition education. In 2024, 13 awards totaling $129,807 were made available to grantees across New York.

Locally, $10,000 was awarded to Literacy West NY Inc., CORE Community Cupboard; and $9,825 for St. Luke’s Church, SNAP-Ed CSA for YWCA.

FreshConnect CSA for SNAP program helps to give (SNAP) participants in New York increased access to weekly shares of fresh, locally grown produce through community supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives by defraying up to half the cost, while also lending additional support to New York’s farmers and producers. The FreshConnect Fresh2You initiative, which provides eligible New Yorkers with a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50 per day at participating farmers’ markets, allows families in need to purchase more healthy food, including produce, dairy and meats. Additionally, the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant program’s most recent round provided $1 million to support community growing spaces and recognize their impact on local food resiliency and food security for New Yorkers.

The state is also leveraging federal funding to supplement and augment these efforts. The AGM has been awarded $49.6 million through the USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA) program to implement the New York Food For New York Families program. The program’s goals are to establish and broaden partnerships between New York farmers/producers, the food distribution community, and local food networks to ensure distribution of fresh, nutritious foods in rural, remote, and/or underserved areas; improve food access for underserved communities by considering regional challenges; and support local and traditionally disadvantaged farmers/producers by expanding and creating marketing and economic opportunities.

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