Ulster County and Community Foundations Announce Availability of Food Security Grants

Posted May 28, 2024

KINGSTON, NY - The Ulster County Executive, in partnership with the Ulster County Legislature and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, is pleased to announce the availability of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support food security and resilience efforts throughout the County. 


Building on the information learned from a Food Insecurity study undertaken by the Legislature in 2022, Ulster County has dedicated $275,000 of ARPA funding to support the emergency food security network throughout the County and help bridge the gap between those in need and healthy, accessible food. As part of the project, the County has helped to convene an emergency food working group and provide grant funding that will benefit emergency feeding providers, those they serve, and the resilience of the emergency feeding system. 


Additionally, Family of Woodstock facilitates the Ulster County Food Security and Access Network (UCFSAN), which conducted a needs assessment of the system in 2023.


In alignment with both the Legislature and UCFSAN report findings, funding will focus on proposals that effectively address one or more of the following: (a) food security, (b) leveraging existing resources and expanding existing emergency food services, (c) providing equipment or personnel to increase capacity to collect, store, distribute, and provide food to those in need, and (d) ensure sustainability for organizations addressing food insecurity in critical geographic areas where providers are limited. 


A total of $275,000 will be granted to non-profit organizations in Ulster County, and grants made through this program will range from $1,000 to $15,000 for individual organizations. Collaborative projects/programs may ask for excess of $15,000 and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


“With 12% of our residents and 17% of our children facing food insecurity, these grants are intended to help bolster the work of our emergency food network to meet this significant need,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “We are fortunate to live in a County where so many caring people, organizations, and volunteers donate their time and resources to addressing food insecurity, and these grants will help build capacity, support innovative approaches to meeting the need, and contribute to the long-term resilience of our emergency food system.” 


"Ensuring food security for our residents is a fundamental priority. We are deeply grateful to our partner organizations for their unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts. This funding will strengthen our emergency food network and ensure that everyone in Ulster County has access to healthy, nutritious food," said Peter Criswell, (D-7) Chair of the Ulster County Legislature.


“Addressing community food insecurity, and making sure our residents have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food was our goal and I'm glad that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allowed us to do this,” said Thomas Corcoran, Ulster County Legislator (D-11) and Chair of the ARPA Special Committee.


“Ulster County prides itself on agriculture and agri-tourism yet many of our community members are struggling to make ends meet and put fresh, healthy food on their plates,” said Megan Sperry, Vice Chair of the Ulster County Legislature (D-17) and Deputy Chair of the ARPA Special Committee. “We can do better, and with this partnership we will be able to assist individuals and families who have been struggling to eat better and support our local farms at the same time.”


“The Community Foundations is proud to support the critical work of Ulster County organizations and programs addressing the pressing needs of food security, access, and improved food system sustainability in our community,” said Cristin McPeake, Community Foundations Vice President of Programs. 


Applications for the grant program opened on April 15, 2024, and have a June 14, 2024 deadline for submission. Visit https://communityfoundationshv.org/grants/for more information and to apply.


Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is a key funder of food security through the Hudson Valley Farm Fresh Food Initiative which provides grants to regional nonprofits to bring more fresh Hudson Valley produce to people in the region who need it most.  


Contact Cristin McPeake, Vice President of Programs at cmcpeake[at]communityfoundationshv[dot]org or 845-452-3077 for questions about the grant application. 


Contact Suzanne Flaum, Assistant Program Director of the Farm to Food Pantry Collaborative at Family of Woodstock at sflaum[at]familyofwoodstockinc[dot]org or 845-800-0437 for questions about the UCFSAN.  


Contact Kristen Wilson, Deputy Director of Ulster County Planning at kwil[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us or 845-340-3338 for questions about this ARPA-funded initiative. 


About The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley 


Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley (CFHV) delivers community leadership and strategic philanthropy to inspire and celebrate local charitable giving in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. Partnering with its generous donors, CFHV addresses current and emerging community needs through effective grantmaking to improve the quality of life for all, and by offering technical assistance to help nonprofits operate more effectively. Since its origin as the Area Fund in 1969, CFHV has expanded to include Dutchess, Ulster, and Putnam counties. CFHV currently manages over $100 million in assets and administers nearly 600 charitable funds for individuals and organizations. In 2023, it distributed more than $11 million in grants and scholarships. CFHV is a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to CFHV are tax-deductible within the limitations prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code. 

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