The down economy has had an impact on many New Yorkers. Many food banks say they’re seeing more customers who are looking for a deal on fresh produce and other grocery items.
Every Wednesday morning, there are deals to be had when Foodlink’s Curbside Market truck pulls up in front of the Thurston YMCA.
Affordable, healthy food is not the only thing on the list. Flo Clemmons makes sure of that.
“Curbside Market program is so convenient,” said Clemmons, Foodlink’s director of community-based strategies. “It provides those with limited access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables, along with grocery items.”
Curbside Market helps people on fixed-incomes, many of them seniors.
“It’s just convenient, and it’s economical,” said Pearlie Cobb, a Rochester resident who shops frequently at the market. “That’s really important.”
Each week, 60 trucks are loaded with fresh food headed for 60 different locations around Rochester. It’s a program that has fed thousands of people in its 10 years of existence, helping to stretch the food budget — especially those who use SNAP or other assistance.
Clemmons says the recent end to pandemic-related emergency SNAP benefits has brought more people to the Curbside Market.
“It was just a bad time for them to really reduce SNAP benefits,” she said. “The cost of living, gas and food and housing. All of that has gone up and then when you reduce that at this time, it's just really tough for folks.”
Much of the produce sold at the market is locally grown. For those who lost out on emergency SNAP benefits, Clemmons says the state does offer other incentive programs for healthy, fresh food.
This place makes it easier.
“We all look forward to it,” said Cobb.
There are good deals on good food and more.
“It’s like family really,” said Clemmons. “We enjoy each other, and we're just here for each other.”