Kenneth Adams, Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner says "Growing the agriculture sector and bringing fresh, healthy foods to our communities is a top priority and we applaud the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District and our partners at Agriculture & Markets for working together to offer this new shuttle service that will ensure Albany residents can take advantage of the array of New York farm fresh products."
The shuttle will run on a recurring loop from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and will make stops at the following locations:
- Ida Yarbrough | 270 N Pearl Street
- South Mall Towers | 101 S Pearl Street
- African American Cultural Center | 135 S Pearl Street
- Steamboat Square | 20 Rensselaer Street
- BID Office | 40 N Pearl Street
- SUNY Plaza Farmers Market | Broadway & State Street
"By providing this shuttle service we are connecting downtown Albany residents and employees directly to fresh food and locally-made products," says Downtown Albany BID executive director Georgette Steffens. "As part of the FreshConnect program's expansion in 2012, Governor Cuomo sought creative ways to improve access to fresh, locally-produced foods, and we are thrilled to aid in that effort. As momentum and participation build, we will continually work to help ensure that individuals have every opportunity to make it to the downtown Albany farmers market each week."
"We are happy to partner with the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District to provide a new connection for City residents to visit the SUNY Plaza farmers market," says CDTA Board Chairman David M. Stackrow. "It's important that everyone has access to unique activities taking place in the Capital Region. CDTA is glad we can help out and provide this extra level of service to our customers."
Started in 2011 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the FreshConnect program works to create new farmers markets and support existing markets. The program, in which the downtown Albany farmers market participates, also includes the FreshConnect Checks initiative, a rebate incentive encouraging New Yorkers who receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to use them at farmers markets. In return, FreshConnect Checks provide a $2 rebate for every $5 in SNAP benefits spent at participating markets.
The Downtown Albany Fresh Connect Farmers Market takes place each Thursday at SUNY Plaza at Broadway and State Street.