In June 2017, the Mechanicville District Public Library kicked off a community farmers market on the library’s front lawn. Throughout the summer, on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m., hundreds of people came to stock up on vegetables, pasta, eggs, honey and other goods from local farms.
For a community with a 16.3 percent poverty rate, a market delivering fresh, local goods at affordable prices was a game-changer, and it also gave local farms an opportunity to sell their products.
The success of the farmers market sparked another project: a series of raised garden beds on library grounds where library staff grows produce in a garden area and orchard. The produce is then donated to families in need via the local food bank. The next step: fruit trees, so anyone in the community can stop by the library to pick fresh fruit.
When a small New York library saw that their community needed fresh food, they responded in a big way.