The "FreshConnect" program includes farmers' markets, youth markets and food distribution systems. It's designed to increase access to New York farm products in low-income and under-served areas. People at the Utica Farmers' Market say this initiative is a great way to help local economies across the state.
"Initiatives likes FreshConnect enable and give markets the ability to apply for funding to strengthen their program. So two things happen, we have healthier people - they're purchasing fresh, healthy foods but the other part is a healthy economy. Now we're providing income for our neighbors and we're keeping that dollar local," says Debra Richardson, Program Director at RCIL/ City of Utica.
Governor Cuomo says the state has already doubled the number of projects supported by the "FreshConnect" program, and now more New Yorkers than ever can access farmers markets - helping support farmers while putting fresh, healthy food on the table.