Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Growing the North Country’s Food Hub

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

March 11, 2024


North Country



In Progress


Throughout the rural North Country, many households live more than 10 miles from a grocery store and face transportation barriers.

Dollar and convenience stores that lack healthy options dominate the market. Food hubs are an effective model to support local, healthy food systems. They serve as intermediaries—receiving food from farmers and producers and managing tasks like marketing, contracting, sales, storage, aggregation, and distribution. In turn, food hubs get paid by the client purchasing the food, who can efficiently deal with one centralized operation, rather than attempting to source from multiple small farms. NYHealth invested early in Essex Food Hub (EFH), formerly known as The Hub on the Hill, to expand its hub throughout the North Country and to connect emerging food hubs across the State. In 2024, NYHealth awarded EFH a grant to expand its food hub and leverage recent State funding to supply fresh, healthy, and locally sourced foods for new markets across the State, especially to marginalized communities.

Under this grant, EFH will distribute food to more than 2,000 households per week in the North Country and in the Bronx. It will create a marketing plan and new product catalog for larger retailers that would be more inclined to purchase from small producers if they could do so through a central hub. EFH will acquire new permits to accept SNAP benefits in its retail markets. It will also test new partnership programs to expand its markets and customer base. It will continue its leadership role in the statewide Food Hub Collaborative by engaging members in shared distribution, storage, and procurement, increasing its ability to move its producers’ food further throughout the State. EFH will also provide input to shape a shared policy agenda and inform improvement to the State’s food system.