Governor Cuomo yesterday (February 11) announced more than $4.3 million in grants for projects across the state helping prevent hunger and reduce food waste, the largest recipient of which was the city of Cortland.
More than $195k was awarded to support the Cortland Food Project Rescue and Waste Prevention, a comprehensive community education campaign focused on wasted food prevention and reduction.
The city will now work to develop and implement its first-ever local food rescue system and volunteer network.
What that involves is seeking out large quantities of “past prime” produce from the community that gets processed into value-added food products. Program staff and volunteers will be specially trained on how to do so.
City leaders will then coordinate for distribution with existing local hunger projects like food pantries, soup kitchens, and the planned commercial community kitchen and entrepreneurship program – set to be located at the Homer Avenue Revitalization Project site.
“Wasted food hurts needy families facing the terrible challenges of food insecurity and harms the environment by growing landfills and contributing to climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “These awards are the latest step New York is taking to help local governments and community organizations support smart investments that prevent food waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by food disposal, and provide nutritious and healthy food to combat hunger across New York State.”
Tompkins County also got more than $70k to address wasted food prevention and food donation by targeting apartment complexes and multifamily units,
Their focus will be educating tenants and property managers on smart shopping, smart storage, and smart food prep.
County officials will also create a site to be used as a food hub cooler for sharing excess edible food, with leftover donations going to Friendship Donations Network (FDN) for further distribution.
Tenants will be provided with free toolkits to collect food scraps from their kitchens for composting.
Additionally,”kitchen to compost” educational materials will be developed and distributed throughout Tompkins County.