Molly Foley is a farmer at the Downing Park Urban Farm in Newburgh. She's been farming here since February and now she's harvesting green beans for a very special delivery.
What You Need To Know
- The Downing Park Urban Farm is operated by the Newburgh Farm & Food Initiative
- Every day, they reap pounds of fresh produce that are hand-delivered to dozens of food pantries across the Newburgh community
- The farm also provides an avenue for Newburgh youth to explore urban farming and agriculture
“We are donating 85 pounds today,” she said. “But that brings our total to over 2,300 pounds, just at this one feeding program that we've donated this season.”
Operated by the Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative, they've supplied over 6,000 pounds of produce to a dozen pantries in Newburgh. Located on city property, it operates under a lease agreement, allowing them to farm there until 2038.
“It’s so needed. I mean we have hungry folks here in Newburgh especially this year,” Foley said. “With COVID, we've got a lot of people out of work and our food pantries are struggling to keep up with the demand.”
Local high school students work with Foley at the farm each week giving hours of dedicated service.
August Grice is a student at the Newburgh Free Academy. The service he and his friends provide is supported through a grant from the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.
“One of my favorite things about doing this is that I get to help people,” he said. “Farming in itself is therapy. So it's like I'm helping other people I get to help myself.”
And while Grice and his classmates are hard at work, Foley joins the staff at the church just a few blocks down the road to hand deliver fresh fruits and vegetables, picked that same day.
The church operates this pantry every other Wednesday right outside its doors. Kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and bright red chili peppers are just a few of the selections. Residents can choose anything they'd like.
“I feel good about it. They have very good vegetables,” one resident said. “They’re very fresh and I love it; I'm here every Wednesday to get some.”
Calvary Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of South Street and Grand Street in Newburgh.
This initiative is made possible by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. Visit https://cfosny.org if you'd like to help, or learn more.