Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in the

Food and Farm Hub by Comfort Food Community.

 

It is our hope that this page will serve as an informational outlet while building construction and program development continue to unfold.

 

We are very enthusiastic about the potential of the new space and look forward to the many possibilities of this exciting endeavor for both our organization and community at large!

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What is a 'Food Hub'?

Food Hubs are a crucial, but often invisible, part of the local food system. They help small farms grow by offering a combination of production, distribution, and marketing services. Food Hubs can be thought of as helpful middlemen that connect producers (farmers and ranchers) with institutional buyers (restaurants, hospitals, schools, etc.) and retail consumers.

While many Food Hubs are large and commercial in nature, there are many examples of Food Hubs that are scaled and designed to meet smaller, more local needs.

 

Over the years, CFC has put hundreds of miles on our vehicles visiting numerous organizations and facilities to see how these business models work first hand. Each of these organizations has a unique approach to food hubbing including a different mix of non-profit and

for-profit activities that cover the distinct geographic

area that they are designed to support. 

The Food and Farm Hub by Comfort Food Community

will aim to meet the imperative needs of our local agricultural economy while continuing to provide

food access within our community and beyond.

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Why a Food and Farm Hub
at Comfort Food Community?

The Food and Farm Hub is an immediate upgrade for existing programs at CFC –

the Fresh Food Collective and Supplemental Student Nutrition program. The Fresh Food Collective recovers surplus food from local farms and then distributes that food to pantries, soup kitchens and libraries throughout Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties. In 2020, the program redirected 130,000 lbs. of healthy food to at-risk households.

 

With expanded refrigeration and improved facilities CFC's Food Recovery Team plans to increase that impact: “We can easily double the amount of food that we recover and distribute with the new facility. We recovered a lot of food last year, but we also had to turn a lot of food away. The new facility is going to make the handling, storage and distribution of food much easier. It will allow us to get even more healthy food to our community.”

 

Similarly, CFC's Supplemental Student Nutrition program, which delivers meals to students over weekends and school breaks, has doubled its participation over the last year and now delivers nine meals per week to 46 students. Moving storage and operations over to the new facility will relieve pressure on both the Student Nutrition program, as well as CFC's Greenwich Food Pantry, allowing the program, led by Cathleen Shaw-Hebert, to continue to reach more students.

Uses & Opportunities

 Immediate Program Use:
Fresh Food Collective
  • High volume produce aggregation & storage
  • Expansion of wash/pack facility
  • Ability to recover & distribute increased
      produce from farms
  • Opportunity to further support our local
      agriculutral economy
  • All-season usage improving safety &
      working conditions for staff/volunteers
Supplemental Student Nutrition
  • Additional storage for food products
  • Dedicated space for packing & distribution
  • Enhanced organization allowing for improved program operations
  • Opportunity to source & store a more diverse variety of products
  • Capacity to serve more local students/families in need
 Future Program Opportunities: ​
  • Farm to Institution
    • NYS Farm to School initiative ​
  • Expanded commercial kitchen 
    • Food processing​
    • Co-packing & processing for farms
    • Wholesale opportunities
  • Job training
    • Adult day habilitation, youth, corrections​
  • Space rental
    • Kitchen, storage, co-working​
  • Home meal delivery
    • Seniors, at-risk individuals, etc.​
  • Food Entrepreneur Classes & Training
    • Cooking​Food Safety, etc.
    • Medically-tailored meal prep 

What people are saying...

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 Erica Freudenberger, 

 Outreach, Engagement & Marketing Consultant 

 Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) 

 "As we enter our fifth year of collaboration with Comfort Food Community, I cannot stress enough how important their work is to the communities we serve. They are professional, reliable, creative, and innovative, and approach this work with compassion and grace. 

 

 The addition of a Food and Farm Hub would   allow for minimally processed food and would   benefit the communities we serve, and make the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets even easier while improving health outcomes. 

 We anticipate that this will make it easier for   children to enjoy fruit and vegetables, allow  us to share more food in the winter months because it can be stored for longer, and make it easier for working families to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their diet." 

Green Pastures

 Brian Gilchrist, 

 Associate Executive Director 

 Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) 

 "CCE has a long history of working with farmers, delivering nutrition programs to youth and adults, and working to connect local foods to local peoples. CCE assists farmers in connecting to local markets including wholesale, retail, Farmers Markets, and CSA's. Local producers are interested in serving more local markets like schools and food pantries, but face many obstacles in doing so – including lack of distribution networks from farm to the facility. 

 CFC's Food & Farm Hub would eliminate many of these barriers and would begin to close the gaps in our local food system, especially for food insecure individuals and youth in schools. A facility like this would not only increase market opportunities for local producers, but also increase the consumption of healthy, nutritious local food." 

Learn More!

 Check out these Food Hub models and resources: 

Salvation Farms (Winooski, VT)

Capital Roots (Troy, NY)

Hub on the Hill (Essex, NY)

For PR inquiries please contact: haley@comfortfoodcommunity.org