Several agencies join together for public survey on food availability in Herkimer County, Adirondacks
MOHAWK — Access to fresh, local, affordable food is an integral part of healthy and thriving communities. Residents in the Adirondack park know this all too well, and have struggled to easily obtain the fresh, quality food that many of us take for granted, according to the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, Inc.
There is a notable gap in services, research, and projects targeting the Herkimer County and western portion of the Adirondack park despite the demand for local food, an announcement said, adding that the MVEDD, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Herkimer County and LivingADK, with support from the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties and Herkimer County, are working to understand and address issues of food access in these communities.
On Sunday, the MVEDD and its partners launched a public input survey to hear directly from year-long and seasonal residents in this region. “We encourage everyone to share their experiences and input and will use this information to develop long and short-term programming and projects,” the MVEDD announcement said. “Residents who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card as a thank you for their participation.” The survey is available at mvedd.org. Those who are unable to complete the survey online can call or text 315-288-3687 to take the survey over the phone or request a paper copy.
Equitable food access that prioritizes local fresh food allows people to live full and healthy lives, strengthens community and regional development, and makes communities more resilient to economic shock, the MVEDD said. “An important lesson learned throughout all of New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic was that our local supply chains need help,” the MVEDD said. “This project will help Herkimer County and the surrounding region become more self-reliant, help prevent food shortages and food waste, and overcome hurdles associated with getting local food into the hands of local consumers.”
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