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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!

Please continue reading below to learn more!

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.

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 Manager, Ashley Bridge, 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.

Keep reading to learn more about immediate and future uses of the Food and Farm Hub

at Comfort Food Community!

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...

Arial View of Green Field

 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." 

Harvesting Crop Field

 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." 

Capital Roots (Troy, NY)

Learn More!

 Check out these Food Hub models and resources: 

Salvation Farms (Winooski, VT)

Hub on the Hill (Essex, NY)

For PR inquiries please contact: haley@comfortfoodcommunity.org