Community Food Security

Community food security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, and nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance.

Food Bank of Central New York's community food security initiatives promote both the local economy and self-sufficiency among individuals using the emergency food network. By investing dollars with local farmers, establishing gardens at partner agency sites, distributing container gardens to low income individuals, and connecting families to local farmers' markets, the Food Bank creates additional access to fresh produce for families in need.

We encourage all of our partner agencies to take advantage of as many community food security initiatives as possible.

  • Garden on the Go: Food Bank of Central New York¬†distributes "Garden on the Go" kits containing 20 Root Pouches, assorted seeds and seedlings, and gardening brochures to partner agencies free of charge. These container gardens are distributed by the agency to families to grow fresh produce of their own. Root Pouches replaced buckets used in the past due to their cost effectiveness, lighter weight to help with distribution, sustainability as they are made of recycled plastic water bottles, and better growing conditions for plants.

  • Food Bank Garden: Three large metal troughs, three raised beds, and a handful of container gardens currently serve as Food Bank's onsite garden. It provides fresh produce for nutrition education workshops, team building and volunteer opportunities, and teachable moments for staff and visitors..

  • CNY Health Bucks: This program helps provide low income families the means to shop at farmers' markets to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Consumers who use SNAP benefits also receive Health Bucks as an incentive when using electronic benefits at participating farmers' markets.

For questions or more information, please contact Matthew Monaco, Community Nutrition Educator, at (315) 437-1899 ext. 222.