Schenectady County

Fresh produce organization Capital Roots expands into Schenectady County

Capital Roots' Veggie Mobile Sprout stops at Holly Manor on Curry Road in Schenectady County recently. The fresh produce seller has expanded its reach in the region. 

Capital Roots' Veggie Mobile Sprout stops at Holly Manor on Curry Road in Schenectady County recently. The fresh produce seller has expanded its reach in the region. 

Capital Roots, which delivers fresh produce to locations around the Capital Region, just added three new delivery sites in Schenectady County to their operation.

The delivery vehicle will bring fresh produce to Mont Pleasant Commons Senior Housing, Edison Senior Housing and Holly Manor. 

“We are ecstatic that we are able to serve more members of the community and provide access to low-cost food in their neighborhoods,” said Amy Klein, chief executive officer of Capital Roots. “The response to each new location we open shows us the need to continue our efforts and expand. This continues to be a unique and well-received program.” 

Capital Roots Mobile Market, which launched in 2007 with its Veggie Mobile, added a smaller companion delivery vehicle, Sprout, in 2011. Delivery sites are located in urban areas where residents may lack access to healthy and organic food. Each week, the mobile market vehicles make over 30 stops Monday through Saturday, delivering produce to healthcare centers, senior housing and low-income housing areas.

This latest expansion also includes a partnership with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) in Albany, which provides vouchers to their clients to shop at any of the Capital Roots Mobile Markets.

“I am very excited for this partnership,” Klein said. “This gives them [USCRI] an opportunity for their clientele to access fresh fruits or veggies, and purchase what they want. They are not restricted in their options and it’s so important that people get culturally appropriate food.”

The Capital Roots food selection rotates to continuously provide food that is in season. However, staple foods and vegetables will always be available for purchase. 

Federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have increased benefits by more than 25% since the pandemic, and the Capital Roots’ Mobile Markets are experiencing a surge of community members seeking quality nutrition, the charity organization said.

“With the advent of the pandemic, more people are going to Capital Roots locations,” Klein said. “We are facing demand everywhere. We serve a vulnerable population, now more people are given access to the food they need.”

Capital Roots was established in Troy by Dean Leith in 1975. Originally bearing the name Capital District Community Gardens, Leith set out to teach families how to grow their own food with the formation of eight community gardens. In December of 2014, Capital District Community Gardens rebranded as Capital Roots at the opening of their new headquarters and Urban Grow Center. Klein has been dedicated to keeping Leith’s intent alive in serving local communities. 

“Our message hasn’t changed, we are just continuing to expand who we bring it to. The whole point is to create accessibility for people who are debilitated, can’t travel, or lack the means to obtain fresh food. We are committed to keeping everything affordable and helping all those in need,” said Klein.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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