Demand at food pantries in Westchester County has doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet this increased need, the Westchester Community Foundation awarded Westchester County’s Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center a grant of $32,000.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “During these difficult times, it’s important that we come together to support our neighbors, many of whom may be experiencing food insecurity for the first time. We are grateful to the Westchester Community Foundation for this grant and look forward to increasing our food distribution efforts at Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center.”
The grant will allow the farm to employ a volunteer coordinator, who will work to meet the needs of its community partners. This person will coordinate harvests and manage distribution at Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center. Additionally, the volunteer coordinator will work to develop the “Grow a Row” program, which will connect backyard farmers with surplus crops to those in need.
This will also allow the Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center to purchase needed equipment and supplies, including a large refrigerator, which will keep produce fresher longer resulting in less waste.
Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center Director Shanyn Siegel said: “Last year, Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center donated over 15,000 pounds of produce to food pantries and soup kitchens. This grant will be tremendously helpful to increasing our production of fresh, local produce as we continue to see an increased demand across the County.”
Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center President Janet Harckham said: “Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center’s volunteers are proud to help provide for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant will allow us to further our sustainability goals and benefit our community partners for years to come.”
Westchester Community Foundation’s mission is to connect generous people to the causes they care about and invest in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. WCF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country, with assets of approximately $2.6 billion. Learn more about WCF at www.wcf-ny.org/.