Albany, NY…Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) applauded grants that will help prevent hunger and reduce the disposal of food waste through food donation and recycling were announced this week in Sullivan and Ulster Counties. The grants will support efforts by municipalities and community-based organizations to reduce food waste by redirecting edible material to New Yorkers struggling with food insecurity and diverting inedible waste from landfills to composting facilities.
In Sullivan County, the Town of Tusten will receive $138,100 to purchase and install a microdigester at the Town Barn facility and also coordinate educational outreach initiatives through a Municipal Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Programs grant. The microdigester utilizes anaerobic digestion and can process two tons of food scraps per month from local businesses and voluntary collection points to produce heat and power, as well as a soil fertilizer product.
“Tusten’s microdigester will use innovative technology to divert organic waste that would otherwise generate climate-polluting methane emissions in the landfill, transforming that waste into clean, renewable energy that will help New York reach its ambitious climate goals and protect our children's future,” said Senator Metzger.
Through Emergency Food Assistance Providers Grant Awards, Hudson Valley Community Services, Inc, which has a facility in Monticello, will receive $14,497 for the purchase of new refrigerators and freezers to safely store fresh food prior to distributing it to pantry clients. This will increase the organization's capacity to receive donated food and distribute it to people in need while reducing waste due to spoilage.
Also by way of an Emergency Food Assistance grant, New Paltz-based Phillies Bridge Farm will receive $12,800 for its Food Justice Project. The project will use the grant funds to purchase and install a walk-in cooler, expanding the current cooling space and helping keep produce fresh, providing more flexibility around pick-up times. This additional cold storage space will more than double their capacity to preserve produce.
“These organizations are doing important work to reduce food insecurity and food waste--a double-win for our communities--and are most deserving of this state funding," said Senator Metzger. "I congratulate the Town of Tusten, Hudson Valley Community Services, and Phillies Bridge Farm for putting their compassionate and innovative ideas into action."