Field & Fork Network is excited to announce their management of the Niagara Falls City Market, a dynamic community hub for locals and visitors. The market will officially open on June 1st, 2023, and will be located at 19th Street & Pine Avenue in downtown Niagara Falls, NY.Continue reading
KeyBank in Partnership with the First Niagara Foundation and General Motors Provides Over $50,000 in Funding to Field & Fork Network
KeyBank in Partnership with the First Niagara Foundation and General Motors Provides Over $50,000 in Funding to Field & Fork Network
Investment funds ‘Food Pathways’, a professional development program for Niagara Falls High School students
NOVEMBER 21, 2022
Niagara Falls High School students will have an opportunity to enhance their education and receive professional development thanks to an investment from two foundations focused on strengthening Niagara County. Food Pathways, a program developed by Field & Fork Network, received a $32,375 grant from First Niagara Foundation and a $25,000 grant from General Motors. The funding will prepare 20 students to take on important careers that help improve and sustain our local food system.
“This innovative collaboration is connecting young people to the community in a unique way by providing career development opportunities while enhancing access to a fresh, affordable and sustainable food system,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the KeyBank and First Niagara Foundations. “Our investment in their future will help strengthen our regional economy and create plans and pathways to help students reach their full potential.” Food Pathways was developed and piloted last year to address gaps that exist between the workforce and food system employers in Niagara County. A partnership with Niagara Falls High School quickly formed, and a collaboration with the Niagara Global Tourism Institute helped create a comprehensive curriculum to engage seniors in exploring new career paths and learning tangible professional skills from leading professionals to better prepare them for the futures.
“We are thankful for the continued support from GM, who also funded the pilot, and to First Niagara Foundation for stepping up to fill the gap, enabling us to continue this program,” said Tom Lowe, Project Director at Field & Fork Network. “This is a unique opportunity for many of these students, and one that has the power to transform their lives; I feel lucky I get to be a part of it.”
“For the second year NFHS students will benefit from this partnership, it’s a chance to learn in a practical setting about new career paths and life skills that will stay with them as they transition to college or a career,” said NFHS Superintendent Mark Laurie.
Food Pathways will launch in January 2023, offering 20 Niagara Falls High School seniors a $500 stipend to participate in the 14-week program that explores career paths in the food system. The curriculum combines in-class professional development activities such as personal branding, social intelligence, team building, with food system experiences both in the classroom and out in the field at local businesses within the food system.
ABOUT FIELD & FORK NETWORK
Field & Fork Network is a NYS nonprofit organization that connects communities to innovative solutions that foster a sustainable food system. Whether we’re connecting farmers to new economic opportunities or connecting consumers to affordable fresh food, our work is designed to link communities together to make them stronger. To learn more about our work please visit our website and social media sites at: www.fieldandforknetwork.com | Facebook Instagram Twitter
KeyBank’s roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $190.1 billion at September 30, 2022. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications, and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
ABOUT THE FIRST NIAGARA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation will carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank, which was acquired by KeyBank in 2016. The Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, supports not for profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York. For more information, visit http://www.firstniagarafoundation.org.
ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.
Niagara Falls City Market, now accepting SNAP, needs an Outreach & EBT Coordinator
Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan moving forward through Economic Development project that provides workforce opportunities and affordable food access to low-income families.
In an effort to make the local food system a more equitable place for all, Niagara Falls’ central and year-round market is finally going to begin accepting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), also known as food stamps or EBT. Healthy Food Healthy People of Niagara Falls along with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, have partnered with the Niagara Falls City Market to make it happen. In order to ensure the successful implementation and use of the benefit program, we are looking for a Community Outreach and Market EBT Coordinator. This person will not only manage the enrollment and acceptance of SNAP customers at the market, but is also a critical touchpoint in partnering with community members to get the word out about the availability of the program at City Market.
The ideal candidate should have a passion for social and community justice, be personable and approachable, and flexible as this is a temporary and part-time role. For more information and to submit an application please read the description here.
If you have any questions, reach out to Tom Lowe, Project Director, at [email protected].
KeyBank, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, Awards Field & Fork Network $50,000 to Support Healthy Corner Store Initiative
Local Food Action Plan aims to bring healthy options to vulnerable neighborhoods of Niagara Falls to empower healthier food choices
Field & Fork Network has been awarded a $50,000 grant, from KeyBank in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, to propel a healthy corner store initiative that will bring healthy food options to the Niagara Falls community, while providing technical support to store owners and nutrition education to residents. The project will be nurtured by Healthy Food Healthy People, a work group that is focused on increasing food access by strengthening the local food system.
The grant, which gives back to First Niagara Foundation’s community roots, is part of KeyBank’s $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan which symbolizes their commitment to empowering individuals and neighborhoods through investment in programs that provide long term enhancement to their quality of life.
“The work that Field and Fork Network is doing to bring healthy and fresh food to all areas of our community is both important and transformational,” said Elizabeth Gurney, KeyBank Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation. “We are so very supportive of their efforts and are proud to stand with them as they work to increase food access by strengthening the local food system.”
The healthy corner store initiative will not only encourage but give local businesses the tools to understand the importance as well as financial benefit to supporting fresh food sales. Residents will also be empowered to not only choose to eat healthy foods but have access to them, especially in those neighborhoods that may not have any other grocery options.
“We are so grateful for this funding from the First Niagara Foundation as it will allow for relevant stakeholders to come together to plan for and implement hyperlocal access to healthy food options in neighborhood-based corner stores, helping to alleviate transportation challenges, which is one of the largest barriers to accessing healthy food” said Tom Lowe, Project Director for the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan.
Healthy Food Healthy People started in 2013, and is comprised of over 35 community organizations and residents who have developed the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan to affect policy from the street up to government levels. The plan is strategically broken down into four key frameworks–agriculture, economic development, education, and healthy neighborhoods – each with several actionable and resident-driven objectives.
To read the full Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan and learn how to get involved in this or the other plan goals, visit https://bit.ly/NFfoodactionplan.
Local Food Action Plan Moves Forward with Strategic Roadmap
Food is a natural convener of people – family, friends, welcome guests, and new ideas – so should an organization rooted in food access.
Healthy Food Healthy People of Niagara Falls partnered with local consultant Buffalo Moose Group to work with community leaders, throughout 2020-2021, to create a strategic roadmap to move the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan forward.
“We understand and embrace the value of difference, making use of each individual or organization’s strengths, and that much is gained through collaboration,” said Cynnie Gaasch of Buffalo Moose Group. “We understand that many organizations have suffered from a lack of investment from those in positions of power. Together, we help clients to move into strength and gain the support they deserve.”
Since 2009, when the Niagara Falls residents began its investigation into quality of life, health, and safety, the need to improve health outcomes for residents had become clear. Thanks to the work of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan, channels to support improved health have now been identified, and this roadmap for the development of a new and sustainable organization dedicated to improving food access is taking shape for the benefit of all Niagara Falls residents. The Niagara Falls Food Action Roadmap calls for the work to be a relevant celebration and opportunity – of strength rather than poverty.
Residents of Niagara Falls, New York, are mobilizing to create a robust and healthy community through the vital source of food. Today there is an opportunity to secure the strength of our community, allowing food to be the catalyst for growth it is, but not just for healthy bodies. The potential for food to have a positive impact on economic development, community, good health, learning, growth, and great conversation is there. This roadmap is focused on activating the talents and resources of our region to create that change around food in Niagara Falls.
There will be opportunities for small-business development, entrepreneurship, neighbors helping neighbors, increased equity around how food resources are distributed, balance through food justice, and a healthy community that begins to restore residents’ trust.
We’d like to thank all of our partners for guiding this process, starting with Project Director Tom Lowe, from Field & Fork Network, and the steering committee, who met monthly, made up of: Brian Archie – Create a Healthier Niagara Falls, Lisa French – Field & Fork Network, Lisa Neff – American Heart Association, Lynne Neveu – Planned Parenthood of Western and Central NY, Jeanette Koncikowski – Grassroots Gardens of WNY, Jen Regan – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, and Rob Sozanski – USA Niagara Empire State Development.
To read more about the strategic roadmap please read the narrative found here.
Refresh your memory of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan here.
General Motors Awards Field & Fork Network $50,000 to Begin Workforce Development as part of Local Food Action Plan
The Healthy Food Healthy People work group aims to end food disparities in the Niagara Falls community through resident-driven action and policy.
Niagara Falls, NY – Field & Fork Network announced today that it has been awarded a $50,000 grant, from General Motors, to propel workforce development and training programming related to the local food system of Niagara Falls. The grant will immediately focus on a planning and piloting phase to provide a better understanding of the needs and interests of local food systems’ employers and potential employees. The project will be nurtured by Healthy Food Healthy People, a work group that is focused on increasing food access by strengthening the local food system.
According to the American Community Survey (2015), the City of Niagara Falls had 18,601 jobs available for a population of 48,896; that is one job for every 2.6 people. One-third of the available jobs pays less than $15,000 per year. The lack of jobs and lack of a living wage presents great challenges for residents in Niagara Falls to provide their families with financial stability and access to healthy meals. Healthy Food Healthy People, a work group established out of the Create A Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative and in partnership with Field & Fork Network, hope to encourage residents to understand the value of, be able to, and choose to eat healthy foods.
When asked about their support for the program, Hal Garling, program officer for GM Corporate Giving, said “General Motors supports the communities where we have operations and with nearby facilities in Western New York and Canada, we are supporting the Field & Fork Network in equipping individuals with essential skills to gain secure employment in a competitive economy while positively impacting the local food system.”
Healthy Food Healthy People, started in 2013, and is comprised of over 35 community organizations and residents who have developed the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan to affect policy from the street up to government levels. The plan is strategically broken down into four key frameworks – agriculture, economic development, education, and healthy neighborhoods – each with several actionable and resident-driven objectives.
“The Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan has been a resident-guided process and is a resident-driven approach to strengthening the local food system,” said Tom Lowe, project director of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan. “The workforce program, funded by General Motors, will be no different and will be informed by residents and other community stakeholders.”
Healthy Food Healthy People is currently working with Buffalo Moose Group, a local consultant group, to finalize an overarching strategy for moving forward. This process includes resident surveys and focus groups to direct the focus of the implementation process which will result in a strategy road map for the work group. Residents of Niagara Falls are encouraged to get involved now by lending their insights. Participants will be rewarded for their service by being entered into a sweepstakes drawing for one of 12 gift cards valued at $50-$250. The drawing ends February 15th, with winners to be announced on the 19th. To take the survey and read the full Niagara Falls Food Action Plan, please visit http://bit.ly/PRsurvey2021.