According to Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap 2018, 10.4% of adults and 13.5% of children in the Capital Region are food insecure which means those individuals don’t know where their next meal is coming from. SEFCU is committed to not only meeting immediate food needs by making monetary donations (last year for our year end giving program $300,000 was donated to food pantries and rescue missions), but also investing in sustainable programs which will allow communities and organizations to provide food for those living right in their neighborhoods.
Change to Attacking Hunger at its Root
In 2018, SEFCU launched a bold initiative to attack hunger at its root and brought a Freight Farm (a 40’ hydroponic self-contained growing container) to our location at Patroon Creek. Our plan was to prove the concept that anyone, anywhere can grow healthy leafy greens 24/7/365 regardless of climate, and boy, did we grow lettuce! Our SEFCU farmers have been able to produce more than 61,000 heads of organic lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs to supply our own employee café and various nonprofit organizations in our community.
The results of this investment have been so positive, SEFCU has expanded this program and has delivered Freight Farms to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area and the City Mission of Schenectady. The farms provide fresh produce for the Boys & Girls Clubs and the City Mission, but they also give students and residents food for thought as they learn about farming, technology, and business.
In addition to the Freight Farm, SEFCU also provided a $120,000 grant to The Food Pantries for the Capital District to purchase a produce shuttle to deliver fresh food, donated by restaurants and food pantries, to people who would not otherwise have easy access to it. The Food Pantries for the Capital District will also use the shuttle for “pop up” produce/farm stands in the Capital Region to distribute free, healthy food to people in need. Additionally, the produce grown in our Freight Farm will be now be on board this new food shuttle and be going directly to families in need.
Now that’s getting to the root of hunger.