Liberty, NY: 7.10.17 - A free ride program is giving Liberty residents a reliable way to get to the Liberty Farmers’ Market at 119 N. Main Street. Market Ride, a collaborative effort of C.A.C.H.E., Catskill Mountainkeeper, Sullivan Renaissance, and The Liberty Networking Group, will begin operating on Friday, July 14th. The initiative was conceived to allow those without reliable transportation access to fresh, local food. “Without a car, something as simple as shopping for groceries becomes a real burden”, said Walter Stein, Executive Director of C.A.C.H.E., the organization providing a van and drivers for this effort.
Liberty is comprised of the town and village of Liberty and four hamlets (Ferndale, White Sulphur Springs, Swan Lake, and Parksville), some of which lie in areas often called Food Deserts. A food desert exists when particularly nutritious food is difficult to obtain due to availability, affordability, distance, or limited places to shop in a given area, either urban or rural. Catskill Mountainkeeper has been operating the Liberty and Monticello Markets as part of their mission to support a sustainable regional food system that feeds our local communities, supports our farmers, and builds our food-related economy - the region’s second largest industry. Market Manager, Pamela Greenlaw, adds: “The Liberty Farmers’ Market is a resource for everyone. We want the market to be inclusive, but just saying so is not enough. Initiatives, like the Market Ride, allow shoppers access, but it also increases revenue for our vendors who work so hard to bring us their bounty”.
To access Market Ride, call 845-423-0967, between 3 and 5 pm on Fridays. The van will transport shoppers to and from the Market, with the last trip happening at 6 pm, just as the market day wraps-up. The ride is Free!
In addition to cash, the market accepts Farmers’ Market Nutrition benefits and programs including SNAP and WIC. Ari Mir-Pontier, of Sullivan Renaissance and The Liberty Networking Group, is excited to be a part of this initiative, noting, “Of course, the nutritional benefits are paramount, but I think we should talk about the taste! Fresh, local food just tastes better, and everyone should have access to that simple pleasure!”