What's Happening?

What's Happening?

Foundation makes $675,000 in Equitable Access to Healthy Food grants

The Schenectady Foundation topped off its 2023 grant-making with six new commitments to make Schenectady County residents more food-secure, totaling $675,000. In all, the Foundation granted more than $1.6 million this year.

“We are committed to improving food security for residents of our community,” said Robert Carreau, executive director of The Schenectady Foundation. “Over just the past three years we’ve invested $1.7 million toward improving and sustaining our pantry system, and pursuing innovative ways to change our local food system. Our vision of a food-secure Schenectady requires us to see this as a long-term commitment, where we engage community partners in working collaboratively and for greater impact,”

The Equitable Access to Healthy Food grants are:

  • Regional Food Bank of NENY will receive $200,000 to ensure that pantries are regularly stocked with foods that appeal to the broad diversity of cultures in Schenectady County. Pantry clients will be able to find a larger selection of food that is nourishing, aligns with their cultural and religious preferences, and provides a sense of comfort and familiarity. For people residing in temporary lodging, such as motels, the food provided will be that which can be conveniently prepared, regardless of one’s cooking facilities.
  • SUNY Schenectady was granted $43,000 to provide refrigerated lockers to store food packages for their student pantry clients, enabling them to pick up their food at times that are convenient to them.
  • Luken Daily Bread Food Pantry was supported with $50,000 to procure enough food to enable the pantry to be open every Saturday (currently they are open one Saturday a month), and to short the period between client visits from four weeks to 21 days. The intention is to provide more frequent access to the pantry for guests, and on days and at times that are more convenient.
  • Schenectady Community Ministries (SiCM) received $100,000 to increase their warehouse space, enabling them to establish a local hub where Schenectady County pantries can consistently and more efficiently obtain the food they require. In addition SiCM intends to improve the quality of food offered in the summer meals program.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension will continue its partnership called Healthy Living 360 with a grant of $182,000. The project addresses food insecurity in Schenectady County by increasing food access and providing holistic community education, engagement, and empowerment, ultimately leading to employment opportunities that will improve the health and well-being of county residents. The project has six program partners that serve over 30,000 youth and adults in the county. In addition to Cornell, other partners include City Mission, Schenectady City School District, Schenectady ARC, Schenectady Community Ministries and Salvation Army.
  • The Food Pantries for the Capital District will utilize a $100,000 grant to deliver a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that Schenectady County pantries are well-served and work in coordination. The five key services are:
    • Food Access Referral Line so residents can more easily access pantry resources.
    • Food Express provides pick-up and delivery of food orders from the Regional Food Bank to member pantries.
    • Food Shuttle rescues excess or unwanted food from local retailers and delivers it directly to food pantries at no cost.
    • Home Delivery of pantry food directly to residents who lack the ability to access a pantry on their own.
    • Healthy Pantry Initiative is a coordinated effort to improve nutrition and health across a coalition of food pantries.


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