FARMS TO FOOD PANTRIES:
Mid-Hudson Coalition to End Hunger
Connecting Food, People and the Land
UlsterCorps is a member of the Mid-Hudson Coalition to End Hunger, bringing together local workers and volunteers from Community Gardens and Farms, Gleaners, Processors, Storage Facilities, Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens to help make the connections that will feed more people in our communities. Farmers are generously offering to donate fresh produce but need help getting it to those in need. UlsterCorps is responsible for building a corps of volunteers to assist in growing, gleaning, processing and transporting food from local farms to local food pantries and soup kitchens and recruited and organized volunteers for five farm-based events this fall which brought over 4000lbs of fresh apples and corn, 750qts of apples sauce and 50 gallons of cider to 19 local pantries and soup kitchens. Farms to Food Pantries is a seasonal fall project in collaboration with Mohonk Consultations, Family of Woodstock, Woodcrest Community, The Queens Galley, Cornell Cooperative Extension, RVGA and other local farms and food pantries.
Currently we are coordinating volunteers for Farms to Food Pantries Gleanings in 2010. Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2009 Gleanings!
- RVGA Farms to Food Pantries Sweet Corn Processing Day 9/22
- Apple Cider Pressing for Food Pantries 10/4
- Farms to Food Pantries – Multi-County Apple Gleaning 10/12, 27
- RVGA Gleaning for Food Pantries 11/4
- Apple Gleaning for Food Pantries 11/5-15
- Apple Gleaning for Food Pantries 12/4, Distribution 12/16
- Farms to Food Pantries pickups, Kingston, Tues & Thurs 11am
- Farms to Food Pantries pickups, Woodstock, Daily 9am
- Farms to Farm Animals Clintondale to Woodstock, 1/4
Read more about the project in the Daily Freeman.
On April 19th and November 20th, 2009, Mohonk Consultations hosted two public forums bringing together local workers from:Community Gardens & Farms, Gleaners, Processors,
Storage Facilities, Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens
Help make the connections that will feed
more people in our communities
Posted below are some ideas which grew out of that discussion. We encourage you to add to the conversation and contribute you time, energy & skills to the project.
>> Sign up for Hunger in the Hudson Valley – Action Alerts
email notifications & calls for volunteer assistance getting food from local farms to people in need.
Please post your ideas, suggestions & volunteer needs in the comments below, or join our discussion on Facebook.How We Can Help:
Related events, sites & volunteer opportunities
Transportation is the single biggest challenge. Please volunteer to help transport food from farms to food pantries and families. Grantwriters to help with funding, experienced farmers to coordinate & train a youth development farm work force also critical. For more information or to volunteer contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-9408.
Google Map of local Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens & CSAs
Please note: this is a work in progress – please contact us if you would like to help with data entry or would like to suggest a specific Farm or Pantry we’ve overlooked (and accept our apologies)
Woodstock Farms to Food Pantries Pickups
Family needs volunteers in Woodstock to do a very quick task on a regular basis that you could easily do in the course of your errands – pick up donations of vegetables, (usually itâ€™s one, or two cartons), and bring them over to Family on Rock City Road. More info or call Sue at 679-2485.
Plant a Row for the Hungry
This program asks vegetable gardeners to devote an extra row in their gardens, or bring their excess produce to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC), located at 10 Westbrook Lane, in Kingston. 340-3478. (DIRT).
Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen – help them extend their hours, transport more fresh food, prepare additional meals. All need more volunteers to keep up with significantly increased demand.Support local farms – join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or shop at local farmers markets. If you are a member of a CSA, offer to transport leftover produce to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. If you have the resources, consider donating a partial share in a CSA to a family in need.
If you have a commercial kitchen, organize/donate a day to help process food so that it can be distributed year-round. If you have a freezer, a donation of storage space would also be greatly appreciated.
Rondout Valley Growers Association Community Gleaning Days
August, September & October. Volunteers will work in the fields harvesting seconds and other left over produce, we will also have opportunities for people to work in a processing kitchen to prepare food to give to the soup kitchens and food pantries in the area. Volunteers will also be able to take home some produce. email@example.com or 687-0051.
Read more about the Fall Field Gleaning for the Hungry program developed by the Ulster County Environmental Management Commission and the RVGA over the past several years
The Rondout Valley Growers Association is a non-profit community organization comprised of local farmers, residents, and businesses that are committed to strengthening the region’s family farms and preserving open space for future generations. More info, events & volunteer opportunities. 657-5701.
Kingston Land Trust and City Gardens
The City Gardens project is led by Rebecca Martin and is born out of her Victory Gardens Project with KingstonCitizens.org. In its current form, the project involves students, volunteers, master gardeners and educators. Gardens have been created at Queens Galley, Darmstadt Shelter, Bailey Middle School and more.
The Kingston City Garden Committee meets on the second Thursday of each month at Kingston City Hall, Conference Room 2. 6:15pm. All are welcome – Itâ€™s an open call, essentially, for all residents who have an interest in gardening â€“ and all things sustainable. Contact Rebecca at 750-7295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eat Local Food
EatLocalFood.org is an organization created and maintained by community volunteers. Together with our community we help to organize, market and/or promote all local-food related events, gatherings, potlucks, farm tours, farm markets, skill-shares, CSAs, farms, businesses and the Local Food Challenge. 255-2749.
Farm to Families Program
The Farm to Families Program provides fresh food and a farm experience to low-income families in Ulster County. In partnership with local agencies, Phillies Bridge Farm Project distributes CSA (community supported agriculture) shares to low-income families, and also hosts a farm visit and cooking demonstrations for participants of the program. 256-9108.
Sunday October 4th 2009, Cantine Field Saugerties, NY
Family of Woodstock is sponsoring an Apple Festival/Harvest Festival
In conjunction with â€œTour de Familyâ€ a bicycle event and Saugerties Make a Difference Day. We will be working with our farm community and neighbors to preserve locally grown apples and other produce to provide our food pantries, schools, food kitchens and ourselves with healthy local produce through the long winter months. Volunteers are needed to pick apples at our local orchards. Sign up today and you will be notified of dates and locations for apple picking. Donations of apples from farmers, or donations towards apple purchase and tree leases would be greatly appreciated, as well as volunteers to assist with picking and transporting apples prior to the Festival and pressing apples October 4th, 12-3pm. Teams of 3-4 volunteers needed at each of three stations for one hour shifts October 4th from 10am throughout the day until all apples are pressed! Cider will be donated to the local Food Bank, Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens. A wonderful volunteer opportunity for youth and groups! If you can help with these activities please contact Don at 247-8034, email@example.com or stop by the Saugerties Farmers Market Saturdays through October 3rd, 9am-2pm, Cahill school parking lot at 119 Main Street.
Become a Volunteer Master Gardener!
Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide the public with gardening programs and activities that convey horticulture research and experience. Volunteers are selected and trained in all aspects of horticulture from taxonomy and plant pathology to organic gardening. Each Master Gardener must complete an initial 100 hours of research based instruction from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and will continue to be exposed to the latest developments through a variety of educational training methods and state of the art gardening techniques. Interviews will take place in July and August. Training will begin in September at the CCEUC Education Center in Kingston. Contact Dona at 340-3990.
CCE 4-H Gardening Club
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster Countyâ€™s 4-H Youth Development Program needs caring adults to volunteer for their new after school 4-H Youth Garden Club called â€œWe Dig Plantsâ€. Club members and volunteers will help to plan the garden on the school grounds of George Washington Elementary School in Kingston and participate in hands-on garden learning activities throughout the year. Volunteer leaders do not need to be gardening experts, as 4-H provides curriculum and support. A passion for working with youth is required! For more information on how to apply for 4-H leadership, contact Kristen Wilson, 845-340-3990, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Student-Centered Wellness Program with its Roots in the Garden. Parents, teachers, students, administrators and staff at Marbletown Elementary School, in Stone Ridge, NY have started an edible garden, and have become involved in composting, recycling, and eliminating plastics and recyclables wherever possible, and weâ€™re initiating a farm-to-school food program. Our goal is to have gardens, healthier food, and an environmental curriculum at all of the Rondout Valley Schools within the next three years. Volunteer garden caretakers needed to Adopt-a-Week throughout the summer; also web, computer and press support. Contact Allyson Levy at email@example.com or call 845-687-2235. More info.
Our deepest thanks to Mohonk Consultations and all the wonderful, dedicated speakers at the Public Forum: Michael Berg, FAMILY of Woodstock; Jan Whitman, Food Bank of the Hudson Valley; Ellen Alexander, Volunteer Coordinator, The Queens Galley; Rik Flynn, UlsterCorps; Rick Fritschler, Rondout Valley Grower’s Association; Mike Garrita, Robins Warehouse Outlet; Jim Hyland, Winter Sun Farms; Amy Little, Professional Services to Grassroots Organizations, Coalitions and Start-Up Projects; Stiles Najac, Food Insecurity Coodinator, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Pete Taliaferro, Taliaferro Farms; Fabia Wargin, Rondout Valley Grower’s Association.