That there are neighbors with limited access to nutritious, affordable food is no surprise to us as farmers and service providers in Philipstown.
When the pandemic hit last year, this social problem of food insecurity entered the national dialogue and more Americans became acutely aware of the weaknesses in our food system. But here in Philipstown, we are poised to build an equitable food system that reaches all residents and provides nutritious foods to sustain life. We were pleased to see that Jason Angell raised this important local issue at the Oct. 7 Philipstown Town Board meeting.
We were reminded that the town received generous donations in the hundreds of thousands in the spring of 2020, and a network of civic organizations and concerned residents helped distribute these funds to our neighbors in need to purchase food and essential medicine. We were reminded about the pounds and pounds of produce that our local farms grew, harvested and distributed to families and food pantries. And we were reminded that food insecurity remains a critical-care issue in our community, with our local Philipstown Food Pantry still experiencing a demand triple of what it saw pre-COVID.
We and others have met in recent months to identify how we might effectively address this issue in a sustainable manner, and we advocate that a portion of the American Rescue Plan Act funding that the Town of Philipstown will receive be dedicated to do just that.
Martha Elder, Carmel
Elder is the executive director of Second Chance Foods. The letter was also signed by Stacey Farley and Peter Davoren of Davoren Farm; Megan Larmer of the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming; Jocelyn Apicello of Longhaul Farm; and Colin Wright, the manager of the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market.