Schumer, Gillibrand announce $200,000 for Sullivan County food hub
“Developing solutions for gaps in our local foods distribution is a critical step which can support our regional food systems and ensure that our farm families can make a living as viable partners in a sustainable economic future,” Executive Director of Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp., Todd M. Erling said. “HVADC appreciates the collaborative efforts of local businesses, the Sullivan County IDA, Ginsberg's Foods and the USDA programs in creating long-lasting opportunities to expand the available farm products in the Hudson Valley.”
“We could not be more thrilled with the award of this grant for our local food hub/distribution project in Sullivan County and the Mid-Hudson Region. The idea of providing the pick-up and delivery for our local providers and connecting them directly with end users with the subsequent ability to distribute regionally is a huge win for all,” said Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson. “The agricultural community is such an important part of our economic future and anything we can do to help our farmers sell and distribute their products is a positive step forward. We want to thank all parties involved that helped make the application such a success and are very grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her always constant support of Sullivan County, our residents and the Mid-Hudson Region.”
The Sullivan County IDA will specifically use the federal funds to launch a satellite Food Distribution Hub Project that will help enable farmers and food producers in the Sullivan-Wawarsing REAP Zone to efficiently access thriving local and regional markets. The IDA will develop a centrally located aggregation and distribution facility to meet demand for Less Than Trailer Load (LTL) freight service, enabling transactions between farmers and wholesale buyers within the county while also opening up local producers to the larger Hudson Valley and New York City markets.
Senator Gillibrand was successful in securing the reauthorization of Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) designation for the Sullivan-Wawarsing Zone in the recently-passed Senate Farm Bill. The measure would extend a designation that helps give the region priority access to federal funding from the USDA to help grow the local economy and revitalize rural communities. The current Sullivan-Wawarsing REAP Zone designation expires September 30, 2013. Senator Gillibrand’s measure would extend the designation another five years. After clearing final passage in the Senate, the legislation now awaits passage by the House of Representatives.