Local Food for Everyone
Hub on the Hill, Essex, NY
Since 2015, The Hub on the Hill has been supporting the farming community and small food businesses in Essex, NY, by not only providing essential resources like food storage, commercial kitchen space, and access to equipment, but also by delivering fresh and frozen produce all over the Adirondacks. Their mission is to collaborate with and create a communal space where farmers can produce value added products and to uncomplicate the process of getting raw products to a marketable state. They have streamlined these services so farmers don’t have to worry about the high costs of production. It’s been a great way to help boost the local economy.
The Hub on the Hill is doing their part to fight food insecurity during COVID-19 by creating emergency food packages. They started in late March and, with donations from local farms and support from local non-profit ADK Action and the Adirondack Foundation, they were able to start creating EFPs (emergency food packages) almost immediately. The program launched with a goal of making 1000 Emergency Food Packages, including 15,000 meals served over 10 weeks. They have blown past their original goal of $55k in just 9 days and upped their goal to $130,000 to meet the growing demand. They will continue to push for expansion and the capacity to feed more food insecure families in the region. Thanks to their sponsors and support from Well Fed Essex Initiative, Adirondack North Country Association, and Adirondack Harvest, as well as their existing delivery infrastructure, they were able to launch an online mobile market and a home delivery program in just a few days as well.
These packages are almost entirely organic, locally grown food, and go to people with the greatest needs. Each package contains one week’s worth of healthy meals, including local eggs, fruit and veggies, yogurt, fresh bread and other nutritious snacks from North Country farms such as Tangleroot Farm, Farmstead Catering at Echo Farm, Juniper Hill Farm, Fledging Crow Vegetables, and Mountain Lake Services, just to name a few. These meals can be delivered to the Adirondack Region, Saratoga County, the Hudson Valley and New York City.
One of the co-founders, Jori Wekin says “The importance of local food systems is being highlighted right now and we're so grateful to have an outlet for positive work (and existential anxiety) in such an unstable moment. We hope this kind of attention and value will continue on the other side.” This project is putting almost $95k in the pockets of local farmers and helping to build a more resilient local food system during the crisis and into the future. This is especially important during a time when many of the nation’s farms are having to destroy their crops that they can no longer sell due to the pandemic.
As of May 5th, they have raised over $130,000 which is 35,835 meals. If you would like to donate, you can do it here. If you would like to place a delivery or curbside pick up, call/text 435-640-6194, or email [email protected].
Photos: Ben Stechschulte and Hub on the Hill