For Immediate Release: Monday, October 17, 2011
Press Contact: Sarah Avery Gordon, 518-669-3447
FarmieMarket and All Good Bakers have teamed up with the Regional Farm and Food Project to coordinate fundraising efforts for local farms that were damaged by Hurricane Irene.
FarmieMarket established a Cause on Facebook and a Pumpkin Raffle that has raised over $8,000. Berne-Knox-Westerlo Teachers Association, Greater Capital Area Realtors Association, local farmers along with several other entities have also joined forces to raise nearly $9,000 in additional funds that have been received by the Regional Farm and Food Project. The Delmar community has shown great leadership in this endeavor, with donations coming in from the Delmar Saturday Farmers’ Market, students at the Delmar Middle School and Elsmere Elementary, the Kettlebell Fitness Center, and the Breathing Room. All told, the Irene Farmer Relief Fund has raised nearly $17,000 so far.
In order to utilize and disperse the money we have raised in the most effective and efficient way possible, the Irene Farmer Relief Fund would like to gather information from the farm community to identify priority needs. Several applications have been received already, but the Irene Farmer Fund is still encouraging farms to submit their information. Farms can access a form from www.FarmieMarket.com to apply for assistance and report their losses. Additionally, this form has been forwarded to agriculture agencies in impacted counties, including Farm Service Agencies, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
We have a limited amount of money to dispense and a large number of people we want to help. We want to prioritize payments and immediate needs to sustain farm operations and help them move towards recovery. Our Fund will not be able to pay for the reconstruction of barn, or replace entire harvest incomes; but, with good information, we can prioritize meeting immediate needs, like covering moderate winter feed expenses to replace hay and grains lost in the storm, repairing fencing and equipment, or covering fuel bills. We ask that farmers tell us what we can reasonably do to help them, and focus on covering costs they do not expect to recover from other sources.
Donations for the Irene Farmer Relief Fund are still being accepted. Contributors can link to the fund at www.FarmieMarket.com or mail checks to RFFP – Irene Relief Fund, PO Box 621, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Also, Pumpkin Raffle tickets are still available on FarmieMarket.com.
The Regional Farm and Food Project will announce the first relief recipients of the Irene Farmer Relief Fund at their annual meeting and “Hoedown” celebration at the Bethlehem Grange in Selkirk, on October 29. The event starts at 3 PM and will feature workshops, a screening of “The Greenhorns,” a film about the struggles and successes of young farmers, a Community Potluck Supper, an open discussion followed by a keynote speech from Shannon Hayes, author of “Radical Homemaker,” and finally a barn dance with Homespun Occasions and the Tamarack Band. All are welcome. This is a good opportunity to come together and support the local food movement.