In Network News

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.