Newburgh Farmers’ Market Compost Pilot Program

Newburgh Farmers’ Market Compost Program will establish the city’s first designated collection sites at the two local Farmers’ Markets where residents can bring their food scraps for composting. Launching the program requires training of staff, marketing of the program, procurement of compost bins and kitchen-top containers, and most important the weekly presence at the farmers markets to manage scraps and answer questions.

A key part of the program is a customer incentive program that benefits both families who shop at the farmers’ markets as well as farmers. Customers will receive a loyalty card to be stamped each time they drop off food scraps at either farmers’ market. After the 5th time they receive a $10 coupon to spend at either farmers market. This extra money can purchase more fresh and local produce for a family while benefiting our farm vendors who grow and sell their produce in Newburgh. This effort also strengthens our anchoring farmers markets while bringing a diverse community together around food scraps recycling.

Access to healthy foods is critically important for many of Newburgh’s low income residents. The rise in the cost of food has rendered local residents to be food and nutrition insecure, the majority being African American/Black and Latinx individuals and families who live at or below the poverty level. At both farmers markets an array of benefits are utilized from SNAP (Food Stamps) to Veterans coupons. An incentive program like this helps subsidize a family’s monthly grocery bill.

Unique to this pilot program is the coming together of Newburgh’s two farmers’ markets, NUFFI, Newburgh Recreation Department, and Orange County DPW who are providing significant technical support in launching this pilot program. None of these organizations would be able to pilot a composting program alone.

Funded by Newburgh, NY (July 2024)