Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has launched Healthy Food for All in Columbia County, N.Y., a five-year initiative driven by local stakeholders and made possible by generous support from local donors whose aim is to improve access to fresh and healthy food for all, especially low-income and elderly residents. The program was developed as an outgrowth of an assessment report on food access in the county prepared by Karen Karp & Partners.
Berkshire Taconic will award a first round of grants, up to an expected total of $150,000, to Columbia County organizations in 2016. Renewal for a subsequent year or years will depend on the nature of the project and performance after the first year of implementation. Through the five-year initiative, BTCF aims to strengthen access to fresh and healthy foods across the county, especially among low-income families and seniors.
The KK&P report examined the history and state of agriculture in Columbia County; the emerging cultural divide; the varying character of need; the role of stigma; the potential for better networking, cross-sector collaboration, and infrastructure; and education as a key to behavior change.