The United Way of Northern New York was recently awarded a $35,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to focus on fighting food insecurity in the North Country.

This project has a focus on the needs of low-income individuals and will increase food security by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create sustainable systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. The FPC will develop a planning project that promotes comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues.

Food System Sectors
  1. Food Production – Technology, Collaboration, Best Practices, Fair Market Access, Land, Affordable Equipment and Labor
  2. Food Processing – Transportation, Maximizing Nutritional Value, Environmentally Friendly Packaging and Labor
  3. Economic Development – Promotion of Local Food System, Incubate New Food Businesses, and Tie to Agri-Tourism, Job Creation
  4. Food Procurement – Equitable Distribution to Regions with Low Income Families Including Food Retailers and Nonprofits
  5. Food Access – Equal Access and Affordability for All Families, Collaborate with Nonprofits and Retailers to Cover Large, Rural Areas
  6. Workforce Development – Collaborate with Secondary and Higher Education to Create Agile and Innovative Workforce, and Promote Entrepreneurship
  7. Governance and Policy – Influence State and Local Policies and Laws to Ensure Fair Practices That Give Equitable Access to All Residents and Businesses

Cornell Cooperative Extension partnered on the grant with UWNNY. Other organizations that will serve on the FPC Leadership Team include the Jefferson County Farm Bureau, Riverside Farm, Morgia’s Pasta, Luff Farms, Jefferson County Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center, BOCES, the Watertown Urban Mission, the Cape Vincent Food Pantry, Jefferson Community College, Jefferson County Planning, and the Tug Hill Commission. Many other organizations will join the FPC to represent their industry.