SCHENECTADY – The Schenectady Foundation said Wednesday it awarded $450,000 in grants to six nonprofits “to reduce hunger and improve access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods.” “There are major projects.
According to a news release issued by the organization, the money will go to the Regional Food Bank of Northeast New York, Schenectady Community Ministries, Rotterdam’s Messiah Lutheran Church, The Food Pantries for the Capital District, Capital Roots and The Schenectady Greenmarket.
The foundation said it expects the grant program to build on about $600,000 already given to address food insecurity during the pandemic, as well as its food delivery initiatives at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic . According to the release, the grant program was born out of the pandemic after unfulfilled needs were revealed in the community.
“Our experience during the pandemic has made it clear that we need to access healthy food urgently and smartly,” Robert Carreau, the foundation’s executive director, said in the release. “This grant program isn’t just about hunger, and not about giving away more boxes of food. It’s about providing families with access, choice, compassion, and healthy choices.”
The Food Bank is building a pilot program to improve access to food in four target areas in the county: Princetown and Rotterdam Junction, Scotia and Glanville, Schenectady’s Stockade and Northside, and Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant neighborhoods. The Food Bank will use the $184,400 it was given to liaise with each community to create a family-friendly meal program in the area.
Schenectady Community Ministries, City School District and Schenectady ARC will launch a project called Healthy Living 360 with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County. Healthy Living 360 will use $100,600 to recruit 120 low-income families to learn what they should be eating and the best ways to get quality food into city homes, the release said.
“The grant program emphasizes involving consumers and stakeholders who are closest to the problem in planning and evaluating new projects,” Christy Milligan, the foundation’s director of grants and community programs, said in the release. “This approach is embedded in our first round of healthy food grants, and it is essential if we are to truly understand the root causes of food insecurity and address them effectively.”
Messiah Lutheran will use $75,000 from the foundation as part of work done in expanding its food pantry within its new multi-purpose community center within the former Trinity Reformed Church on Curry Road, earlier this year when the two congregations merged. happened.
The foundation is giving $50,000 to the Capital District’s Food Pantry to support its grocery delivery program, which makes more than 150 monthly deliveries within Schenectady County, according to the foundation’s release.
Capital will use $20,000 from the Roots Foundation to start the Regions Food Policy Council. The council’s goal, according to the release, is to “strengthen each area of the local food system, foster greater collaboration between farmers, processors, distributors and consumers with the goal of developing more efficient and practical solutions to the problem of food insecurity.” ..”
Greenmarket will use $20,000 to subsidize the cost of community-supported farm share options from local farmers as part of a new Food Box program, which will allow low-income people to benefit from market produce. Greenmarket will buy at full price because many farmers cannot offer low-cost options, then it will offer these shares at a lower rate to low-income customers, according to the release.
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