After test run, farm food box deliveries begin in earnest today
Starting today, 100 boxes full of food purchased from local farms are being delivered for free to the homes of families deemed to be facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.
Two local organizations are working together to feed these people, with help from donors. AdkAction, based in Saranac Lake, and the Hub on the Hill, based in Essex, partnered up two-and-a-half weeks ago to start planning and designing the new Emergency Food Packages program.
Contents vary, but AdkAction’s website says a typical box would include frozen lunches and dinners, a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, yogurt, soup, greens, apples and healthy snacks — all locally produced.
Today’s deliveries are to be the first of many. These deliveries are planned to continue every week for the next 10 weeks. That’s a total of 1,000 packages intended to cover 15,000 meals.
The groups are also “working out the details to also serve Hamilton County,” according to AdkAction Executive Director Brittany Christenson.
People in need of food are being screened and selected by the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (518-483-7022 in Malone, Franklin County), Adirondack Community Action Program (518-873-3207 in Elizabethtown, Essex County) and Community Connections of Franklin County (518-521-3507 in Malone).
For such a big undertaking, it was important that a small pilot be done first. After sending out a test run of 12 boxes, the program received a large amount of positive feedback.
“It was overwhelmingly positive,” Christenson said. “People really appreciated the quality and freshness of the food.
“Everybody loved the yogurt and granola, (and) everybody loved the trays of prepared food and soup.”
To support this program, AdkAction launched a fundraising campaign that, as of today, had gathered more than $53,000 toward its $55,000 goal. The appeal asks donors to donate $55 to pay for one Emergency Food Package, with 100% of the donations going to buy food and to pay staff fair wages to prepare and deliver it.
“Food is very emotional for people, and we all want our neighbors to be well and to have enough food to feed their families,” Christenson said. “I think that $55, to know that you are feeding someone in your community for an entire week, it feels really good to be able to help in that way.”