CCEUC’s Healthy Kingston for Kids (HKK) and Creating Healthy Places (CHP) formed the Healthy Foods Task Force to address Food Deserts in the City of Kingston. In the summer of 2011, a Food Vendor Assessment was administered by BOCES New Visions students with guidance from HKK; the collated data created a Food Desert Assessment Report for the City of Kingston. The Healthy Foods Task Force created SMART Goals to address the Food Desert. All three efforts combined were instrumental in successfully obtaining two NYS Department of Agriculture Fresh Connect Grants, awarded in May 2012. One project implemented a mid-town Kingston Farmers’ Market and the other introduced fresh produce into two Kingston neighborhood stores that had been indentified as being in a food desert (a food desert is defined for these purposes as an urban neighborhood or rural town lacking reasonable access to fresh, healthy and affordable food — namely fresh fruits and vegetables.)
UlsterCorps and RVGA serve on Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Healthy Foods Task Force, which helped organize the new farmers market as part of its goal to bring safe, fresh and affordable local food to underserved communities in Ulster County. The market will be held Tuesdays through October from 3pm to dusk.