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May 8, 2012 4:44 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

FreshConnect Grants Awarded To Two Local Groups

May 8, 2012 4:52 PM

Southampton Town’s Flanders Farm Fresh Market Project and Amagansett’s Amber Waves Farm have been awarded FreshConnect Grants from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Empire State Development, and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

The Flanders Farm Fresh Market was awarded $10,000 toward its efforts to provide easily accessible fresh produce to residents of Flanders. The market is located at the Senior Center and is located on the route of a major bus line. There is currently no grocery store in Flanders.

Amber Waves Farm was also awarded $10,000 in support of its campaign to encourage local organic farmers to sell surplus produce to Long Island Cares, the local food bank, which in turn will make more organic produce available to low-income families throughout Long Island.

The FreshConnect Program was launched by Governor Cuomo last year to create new farmers markets and support existing markets that provided fresh produce to high-need areas. The governor expanded the FreshConnect Program this year to support not only farmers markets, but other creative solutions to improve access to fresh, locally produced food by low-income or underserved communities.

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. congratulated both organizations in a statement released by his office.

Assemblyman Thiele stated, “Many people don’t realize that Suffolk County is the number-one agriculture producing county in New York. Our East End farms and farmers are an integral part of our state’s economy. They are also a vital part of our local economy, heritage, and community character. I am pleased to see that two local, innovative projects have been recognized as leaders and will be able to expand their efforts in increasing access to healthful, local produce.”

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