As we adjust to the COVID-19 health crisis and recognize its far-reaching impacts, it is clear how much our communities and local farms depend on each other.
Many organizations throughout our region and state, including CLC and our partners, are coming together to find ways to support farmers and maintain emergency food supplies. We offer a list of some of these efforts and resources below.
We will keep this page updated with new information and opportunities as available.
Last updated: 5/15/2020
- What can I do to support local farmers?
- Purchase food from local farms. New York State considers farms and farmers markets to be essential during this time. Local farms are still open, but you may have to be flexible to purchase their products. Find your favorite farms online or call to see if they are taking pre-orders for pick up or offering delivery services while we all practice social distancing (see below for links to local farms).
- Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. CSA memberships offset some of a farmer’s early operational costs and allow them to invest in their growing season, while you enjoy fresh food as it is ready for harvest.: https://hudsonvalleycsa.org/find-a-farm/
- If you are leasing land to a farmer, please consider waiving rental payments until this crisis has passed and the local farm system has stabilized.
- You may also consider paying for needed improvements to your land so your tenant can invest in capital projects necessary to sustain their operation.
- Donate to American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund, and other relief funds that support farmers.
- Familiarize yourself with agricultural policy recommendations, such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s “Statement on Covid-19 and its Impacts on the Farm and Food System, the New York Farm Bureau’s current “Action items," and the National Young Farmers Coalition’s “Action Network."
- Where can I find help if I’m a farmer?
- American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund. 100% of donations to this fund will be granted to farmers that, “rely on direct contact with their customers, including farmers and ranchers that primarily sell their products through farmers markets and to restaurants, schools, and other institutions,” and who have been impacted by the pandemic.
- Farm Service Agency has made changes to their loan programs in the face of COVID-19. FSA encourages producers to contact their county office to discuss these programs and temporary changes to farm loan deadlines and the loan servicing options available. For Service Center contact information, visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.
- The Small Business Administration has a COVID-19 website for Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources.
- The Food and Beverage Law Clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is offering pro-bono legal services to farmers and food businesses in response to the COVID crisis and offers these reources:
- Columbia Land Conservancy has created a directory of Columbia County Farms to help consumers find local farm products. Please check to see if your farm is listed and let us know if we should make any changes!
- Graze is offering a free online class on how to ship perishable goods from your farm.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster has created a google map that you can list your farm and product availability.
- National Young Farmers Coalition: COVID-19 Response Resource Library, including food safety resources, businesses services member calls, and advocacy.
- National Young Farmers Coalition list of online sales platforms.
- New York Farm Bureau: COVID-19 Resources and Daily Updates, including important policy initiatives.
- Upper Hudson Valley Response Map from Skidmore College where you can list your farm and product availability.
- GrowNYC’s Farmer Assistance Coronavirus Response Resources . Grant opportunities, access to markets, labor, and emergency relief programs.
- Cornell Small Farms Program: Building Farm Resilience During COVID-19
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital District Agricultural and Horticultural Program's COVID-19 Resource Page.
- COVID-19 Community Resources in Dutchess County.
- Farmers' Legal Action Group Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief.
- NY FarmNet: COVID-19 Response. Includes mental health links and resources, agricultural and workforce information, and other important resources.
- New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets: COVID-19 What You Need to Know. Information about current regulations.
- Connect with CLC’s FARM staff (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). Our office is closed, but our staff are all working remotely and are available to talk with you.
- Where can I buy local food during this time?
- Columbia Land Conservancy has created a directory of Columbia County Farms to find available local farm products.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess has created a directory of local farm stands with contact information.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster has created a google map that indicates farms and markets that are still open for business in our region: http://ulster.cce.cornell.edu/environment/emergency-preparedness/covid-19/food-farming-covid-19
- Scenic Hudson Land Trust has created this directory of Hudson Valley farms that are open for business.
- IMBY has a list of Columbia County restaurants, food stores, farm markets, distilleries, and more offering take out and other delivery options (updated 4/17/20).
- The Farmers Market Federation of New York has assembled this list of markets open during the health crisis.
- Upper Hudson Valley Response Map from Skidmore College that identifies farms with available products and farmers markets.
- Questions about COVID-19 and whether your food is safe? Read the USDA’s website with frequently asked questions about Covid-19
- What can I do to support local emergency food relief?
The closing of schools that provide free lunches and rapidly increasing unemployment have led to a clear and growing need for emergency food relief in our community, and across the country. Donating to organizations connecting available food to those who need it is a crucial step in supporting relief efforts.
- Rolling Grocer 19 in Hudson seeks to provide convenient, quality food for all -- no matter the income level -- with a priority placed on low-income residents. Consider donating to their efforts or volunteering as part of their COVID-19 relief efforts.
- FeedHV is a regional food rescue and harvesting network dedicated to meeting the needs of Hudson Valley neighbors while mitigating the impacts of food waste.
- Berkshire Valley Grown's Share the Bounty Program is helping to distribute fresh, local food to nearby communities including northern Columbia County.
- Friends of Hudson Youth has created a fund to acquire and deliver food to Hudson Residents in need: https://hudsonyouth.org/food-bank/
- Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, a branch of the Northeast Regional Food Bank, is seeking donations; they have established a special giving category for “COVID-19 Response/Disaster Relief”.
- Patterns for Progress has released a report, "Vulnerability Revealed: COVID-19 and the Hudson Valley Food System," to explore the growing issue of food insecurity in the Hudson Valley, recent disruptions to food supply, and ways to improve our regional food system and increase access to food.
- The Sylvia Center has created a spreadsheet for Emergency Food Access & Distribution- Columbia County Districts.
- Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming has created a fund to support regional food distribution efforts: Food Access Initiative Fund
- Red Hook Responds has started this document with useful links: https://www.redhook.org/DocumentCenter/View/1625/Red-Hook-Responds-Short-Edit