CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- In an effort to help the local farm economy and make fresh, healthful foods more available to the community, Hudson Valley Hospital Center will expand its Farmers Market next season with a $99,899 grant awarded this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hudson Valley Hospital Center was one of only 10 organizations in New York State and the only one in Westchester and Putnam counties to be awarded some of the $52 million distributed nationally for such programs through the 2014 Farm Bill.
The funding was announced Monday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in what he called a move to bolster the organic food industry and improve access to fresh foods for millions of Americans. “Hudson Valley Hospital Center received the second highest grant award in the state,’’ said the hospital’s president, John C. Federspiel. “These funds will allow us to expand our Farmers Market and to further our goal of reducing chronic diseases through healthy eating.’’
In its third season, the Hudson Valley Hospital Center Farmers Market is held on the hospital campus, 1980 Crompond Road, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month through November. Remaining Farmers Market days are Tuesdays, Oct. 7 and 21; and Nov. 11 and 25.
The farmers market program is aimed at using healthful eating as a way to prevent chronic disease and positively influence a patient’s recovery.
Federspiel said the USDA grant will accomplish two goals: It will support local farmers by providing a venue for them to increase sales and it will help the hospital make the market more accessible to the community. The hospital plans to do this through a series of community outreach efforts. Also funded by the grant, will be purchase of EBT machines, which will allow farmers to accept food stamps, making fresh, healthful foods more affordable for lower-income residents.
To learn more, call 914-734-3780 or log onto www.hvhc.org .
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