Image: Food Box
April 29, 2024
Albany, NY

New York State Announces $1.1 Million Awarded Through SNAP-Ed Community Growers and Food Box Grant Programs

New York State Announces $1.1 Million Awarded Through SNAP-Ed Community Growers and Food Box Grant Programs
Awarded Projects Build Upon Governor Hochul’s Commitment to Strengthen Resiliency of New York’s Food and Agriculture Sectors and Expand Access to Fresh Foods in Underserved Communities

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM), in partnership with the Office of Temporary and Disability Services (OTDA), today announced over $1.1 million has been awarded to 34 organizations through the second round of two Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (SNAP-Ed) grant programs. The SNAP-Ed Food Box and Community Growers grant programs provide funding to eligible groups to further expand access to fresh, affordable foods in underserved communities across New York State and support New York’s agricultural industry. In 2022, AGM awarded nearly $1.1 million to 32 organizations across New York State through these programs.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The SNAP-Ed Food Box and Community Growers grant programs are critical in boosting the production and consumption of healthy foods across New York State, particularly in historically underserved communities. We’re already seeing the projects awarded in 2022 make such a great impact across New York State, and I know that the funding awarded today will build on that work and continue helping our communities in a big way. I’m grateful for our partnership with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and their help in getting this terrific program off the ground. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.”

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “Increasing access to locally grown nutritious and affordable produce can have a profound impact on health outcomes for low-income households. The community led initiatives funded through these grants will help empower families, SNAP recipients, and all New Yorkers to learn more about their food choices and improve their health and well-being. We are grateful for Governor Hochul’s continued commitment to ensuring that underserved communities have access to affordable, nutritious, locally grown food.”

Community Growers Grant Program

The SNAP-Ed Community Growers Grant Program supports urban farming and nutrition education. The program provides direct assistance to community-led gardens and not-for-profit farms that work to combat food insecurity in under-resourced areas and help food insecure communities develop an interest and skillset to grow and cook healthy, locally produced food. This initiative recently expanded to serve nutritionally underserved communities across all of New York State. Through this funding round, over $999,000 has been awarded to 21 grantees across New York State. A list of the awarded projects is below.

  • Capital Region
    • Radix Ecological Center, Food Sovereignty and Nutrition Education Program - $49,963
    • Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc., Soul Fire in the City - $46,833
  • Central New York
    • Hopeprint, Inc., West Pond Nutrition Equity - $49,868
  • Finger Lakes
    • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County, Orleans CCE Hort to Health Gardens Project - $22,259
  • Mid-Hudson
    • Our New Way Garden, Inc., Still Growing Up - $50,000
    • Westchester Land Trust, Westchester Land Trust’s Food Pantry Garden - $42,049
  • New York City
    • City Parks Foundation, CityParks Learn – Learning Gardens - $50,000
    • GrowNYC, Community Growers Renovation Project - $49,994
    • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, ENYF! Seasonal Support Program - $50,000
    • Green Guerillas, Inc., Strengthening Food Production, Nutrition Education and Intergenerational Bonds In 20 NYC Community Gardens - $49,993
    • International Rescue Committee, Inc., Community Growers - $50,000
    • New York Restoration Project, NYC Urban Agriculture Training and Nutrition Education Program - $49,754
    • Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual & Transgender Elders, The Bronx and Harlem Harvest Gardens - $50,000
    • The Campaign Against Hunger, Inc., Health360 for Seniors - $49,999
    • The Children’s Aid Society, Children’s Aid Go!Healthy SNAP-Ed Community Growers Project - $50,000
    • The Fortune Society, Inc., Garden to Plate: Fortune Fresh’s Garden and Nutrition Program - $50,000
    • Union Settlement Association, Inc., East Harlem Neighborhood Garden: Helping Our Community Grow - $50,000
    • Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, Inc., Variety’s Farm to After School Initiative: From Seed to Seat - $49,732
  • Southern Tier
    • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben – Gardens - $48,624
    • Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc., Greater Binghamton Garden-based Nutrition Education - $40,000
  • Western New York
    • Grassroots Gardens of Western New York, Community Gardens & Nutrition Education 2024 - $50,000

Food Box Grant Program

The SNAP-Ed Food Box Grant Program works to expand access to nutritious and locally grown produce to communities at reduced rates, while working to connect farmers with new markets and drive growth in New York’s agricultural industry. This statewide grant program encourages participants to make local produce available and accessible to SNAP-eligible and food insecure communities while simultaneously providing nutrition education. In 2024, 13 awards totaling $129,807 were made available to grantees across New York. A list of the awarded projects is below.

  • Capital Region
    • Schenectady Green Market, The Schenectady Greenmarket Food Box - $10,000
  • Long Island
    • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Fruit and Veggie Rx-Food Box Program - $10,000
  • Mid-Hudson
    • Fareground, Summer Food for Families - $9,990
    • Glynwood, CSA is a SNAP with Farm Fresh Nutrition Education - $10,000
  • New York City
    • Cypress Hills, East New York Farms! Project - $10,000
    • GrowNYC, GrowNYC’s Crown Heights Farmstand SNAP-Ed Community Days - $10,000
    • International Rescue Committee, Inc., IRC in NY Food Box Program - $10,000
    • One Brooklyn Health Systems, Inc., OBH CSA - $9,992
    • Seeds in the Middle, Hip2B Healthy Farm Stands in Brownsville - $10,000
    • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Heritage Farm’s SNAP-Eligible CSA - $10,000
  • Southern Tier
    • Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc., VINES Farm Share - $10,000
  • Western New York
    • Literacy West NY, Inc., CORE Community Cupboard - $10,000
    • St. Luke’s Church, SNAP-Ed CSA for YWCA - $9,825

The SNAP-ED Food Box and Community Growers grant programs are critical components of Governor Kathy Hochul’s ongoing priority to make local food accessible to more residents, including those in food deserts and underserved communities, and to encourage more urban farming. With additional funding dedicated in the FY 2025 Enacted Budget, including $50 million for the Nourish New York program, programs such as the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program, FreshConnect Fresh2You, and SNAP EBT are providing a boost to New York farmers, increasing communities’ access to local foods, and further strengthening New York’s food system.

In recent months, the State has launched the FreshConnect CSA for SNAP program, which helps to give Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in New York increased access to weekly shares of fresh, locally grown produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives by defraying up to half the cost, while also lending additional support to New York’s farmers and producers; and the FreshConnect Fresh2You initiative, which provides eligible New Yorkers with a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50 per day at participating farmers’ markets, which allows families in need to purchase more healthy food, including produce, dairy, and meats. Additionally, the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program’s most recent round provided $1 million to support community growing spaces and recognize their impact on local food resiliency and food security for New Yorkers.

The State is also leveraging federal funding to supplement and augment these efforts. The Department of Agriculture and Markets has been awarded $49.6 million through the USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA) Program to implement the New York Food For New York Families program. The program’s goals are to establish and broaden partnerships between New York farmers/producers, the food distribution community, and local food networks to ensure distribution of fresh nutritious foods in rural, remote, and/or underserved areas; improve food access for underserved communities by considering regional challenges; and support local and traditionally disadvantaged farmers/producers by expanding and creating marketing and economic opportunities.