Feeding residents & funding local farms
At the Barryville Farmers’ Market, we were excited to open our market at the end of March. These plans quickly changed with the onset of the pandemic, leaving our community—located about 90 miles outside New York City—with depleted shelves in our local grocery store as our residents grew fearful and resources ran short. Local farms also began to suffer from the loss of business from restaurants.
Realizing that many residents were in need of basic produce and healthy meals, we reassessed our assets to see how we could adapt to ensure our community members could still safely access produce during this time. Making use of our eager volunteer workforce, we launched the Victory Garden Project to connect local suppliers of grown food with the community in a safe manner. Along with new suppliers of locally grown food, we have made use of generous charitable contributions and a network of farmers’ markets with whom we have shared strategies and operational advice.
Customers pay for produce and prepared food through Victory Garden Project’s website, which has been a huge success—we serve approximately 250 customers per week. As spring crops come in, we’ll be able to service many more people. The increased demand allows us to help local farms, from which we deliver food directly to the public in a safe, low-contact pickup. Furthermore, we have been able to raise funds for local families in distress. Our community has always been tight-knit, and we believe that the resourcefulness of our team and collaboration with local farms and farmers’ markets has helped us all grow stronger as we work to emerge from this crisis.