COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund
July 6, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYHealth awarded the Partnership for a Healthier America a grant to partner with Foodlink to ensure access to affordable, high-quality, fresh produce for residents in Rochester through a mobile farmers market.
Under this grant, the Partnership for a Healthier America worked with Foodlink, one of New York State’s largest and most innovative food banks, to get high-quality, fresh produce to residents in need. Specifically, this project expanded Foodlink’s Curbside Market model—a mobile farmers market that links low-income communities in the Rochester area with fresh, affordable, and local produce—to respond to food system disruptions created by COVID-19. Foodlink worked with the Produce Marketing Association and its distributor network to package and deliver produce boxes to distribution sites, including sites that had been closed as a result of COVID-19. The Curbside Market enabled residents to use WIC, SNAP, and other incentive programs to purchase fresh food and stretch their grocery budgets. Additionally, Foodlink provided free, high-impact digital resources to help residents develop long-term healthier habits to improve diet quality.