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Emergency Food Packages expands after initial success

SARANAC LAKE — After lots of positive feedback, more than 35,000 delivered meals and tens of thousands of dollars in donations, AdkAction and the Hub on the Hill are expanding their Emergency Food Packages program for those facing food insecurity — which is on the rise during the COVID-19 outbreak.

They had previously set out to package and deliver 1,000 EFPs over the course of 10 weeks. Now, only two weeks in, AdkAction has exceeded its “stretch” fundraising goal of $75,000 and is now approaching $115,000, donated by more than 500 individuals.

At the same time, the need for these packages is much greater than originally estimated. The EFPs are for people who have recently lost their jobs, are unable to shop safely or need extra food assistance because of the pandemic and the resulting shutdowns.

Each package contains roughly a week’s worth of healthy food for one person, with all ingredients sourced from local farms, including eggs, bread, yogurt, granola, apples, greens, prepared entrees and soups.

Referrals are vetted from several local charitable organizations that have a long history of directly serving people experiencing food insecurity. Once referred, households will continue to receive these food packages either weekly or bi-weekly for the duration of the 10-week program, translating to a sustained, reliable system of food support during the height of the pandemic crisis.

AdkAction has received more referrals in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties than it has available EFPs, so AdkAction and the Hub on the Hill are increasing their delivery of weekly packages from the original 100 per week to 235 per week. The duration of the program was also extended from 10 to 14 weeks, until July 16. To do this, an additional kitchen partner will be added to expand capacity.

To support this expanded program, AdkAction has decided to raise the campaign goal one final time to get additional food to identified community members in need. The final fundraising goal of $130,000 represents a total of 35,000 meals. AdkAction staff time, software and other resources are being donated to the project to ensure that 100% of donations received are spent on the food from local farmers and for fair wages for the kitchen staff who are cooking, packing and delivering the packages.

“Our new and final fundraising goal is not just a theoretical number — it represents a list of households that we know are in need of this healthy, local food,” AdkAction Executive Director Brittany Christenson said. “We have their addresses, we know what they need, we just need the resources to act.”

AdkAction is based in Saranac Lake. The Hub on the Hill is based in Essex. Visit https://emergencyfoodpackages.funraise.org to learn more.

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