Healthy Food on the Hudson: Collaborative Strategies for County-Wide Fresh Food Access
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Healthy Food on the Hudson

Collaborative Strategies for County-Wide Fresh Food Access

  • Children being shown how they can use sage as toothpaste.

The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), an organization that aims to build stronger communities by inspiring charitable giving, engaged KK&P to identify means to expand fresh and healthy food access to lower-income families, children and elderly in Columbia County, NY.

The initial phase of the project focused on gaining a comprehensive understanding of current food and hunger conditions in the county, including assets, gaps and opportunities, and to outline effective strategies for BTCF to pursue during the implementation phase.

Transportation, food availability and institutional infrastructure are roadblocks to fresh food access for lower-income residents of Columbia County. Collaborative measures can go a long way towards breaking down barriers.

KK&P compiled research statistics, conducted stakeholder interviews, thoroughly researched the Columbia County food landscape and identified significant barriers to food initiatives in the county. These roadblocks included lack of transportation options, insufficient cross-sector collaboration due to internal “bandwidth”, and the need for improved infrastructure, especially in regards to cold storage and vehicles.

Food, farm and nutrition education, especially of area children, was pointed out as fundamental to changing eating patterns. Expanding Columbia County residents’ knowledge of cooking and healthy eating will be integral to meaningful cultural change around food.

Among other items, our research recommended that BCTF create a funding pool for healthy food access programming, which is currently being implemented.

Fresh and Healthy Food for All in Columbia County, NY (2015): FINAL REPORT >