The USDA announced Sept. 30 that Foodlink will receive grant funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which has invested more than $8.6 million in projects “to foster self-sustaining solutions that help make healthy foods available to families living in low-income neighborhoods.”
If you’re thinking that description sounds an awful lot like the work we do with the Curbside Market, you’d be spot on.
Indeed, Foodlink will receive $125,000 from NIFA’s Community Food Projects grant program to help the Curbside program grow. Chief Program Officer Mitch Gruber told WXXI over the weekend that the funds will help Curbside expand, maintain its fleet and develop a greater relationship with the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm.
The Curbside Market is Foodlink’s mobile farmers market that sells fresh, affordable produce in underserved communities. Cash, debit, EBT and WIC are all accepted. SNAP customers can also double their purchasing power through Curbside’s enrollment in Double Up Food Bucks.
Foodlink is one of 33 recipients of CFP funding nationwide.
“Since 1996, the Community Food Projects program has empowered people in low-income communities to become more self-reliant in getting healthy, nutritious food,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. Recent USDA data indicates that we are making tremendous headway in battling hunger and food insecurity across America. With programs such as this we are able promote efforts to decrease food insecurity through healthy diets and nutrition education.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer also praised the news.
“By supporting organizations like Foodlink, we can promote healthy eating and provide access to nutritious foods for New Yorkers who might not otherwise have the option,” Schumer said. “Fresh and affordable food shouldn’t be a luxury for the people of the Greater Rochester area. This Foodlink program will not only benefit tens of thousands of people in the Rochester area, but also help our farmers by increasing their production and yields for the year.”
“We need to make access to healthy foods a priority in our communities,” Gillibrand said. “By investing in nutrition initiatives, we are not only ensuring our families have access to nutritious food, we are also creating opportunities for our local farmers. Through these additional resources, Foodlink will able to expand their ability to reach more families with local products.”
The Curbside Market’s current schedule runs through November. Check out the routes for Monroe County & Outlying Counties to find a stop near you. A new schedule for the winter and spring months will be released next month.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture,Community Food Project.