BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) The Broome County Public Library has started an initiative to introduce kids and their families to fresh, healthy produce grown here in Greater Binghamton.
Last month, the library kicked off the Farm to Library program. All members of the community are invited to stop into the library and receive free produce from local gardens, farms, and organizations such as CHOW. Produce such as peppers, green beans, and apples are kept in a fridge at the front of the building for community members to grab on their way in or out.
The Library Director, Josias Bartram says that it’s important for today’s youth to be re-introduced to healthy, and tasty local food.
“So, this is not intended as a food pantry. It’s more of an educational initiative to give people in the community a little bit of a taste of fresh local produce. And so, there’s no income requirement for any of this. We encourage anyone to take produce, including library staff, and a lot of people have been taking it. And then also, we encourage who has a home garden and who has extra zucchini or anything else to bring it in,” said Bartram.
The library is asking anyone with additional space in their gardens at home to “grow a row” and donate it to the program. The cooler is restocked about twice a week.
There is also a display of books focusing on agricultural themes, and community cooking classes held by Cornell Cooperative Extension to highlight the importance of shopping and eating local.