SCALE completes food hub feasibility study and implementation plan for Southern Tier West
The southwestern corner of New York State, often referred to as the "Southern Tier West", has many of the challenges and resource constraints found in many parts of Appalachia. Bordering Lake Erie to the west and Pennsylvania to the south, the three counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua have recently embraced local foods as part of their economic development strategy. The leader of this effort, the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, requested a feasibility study and implementation plan to strengthen and accelerate the local foods work across the three counties. Beginning in February, SCALE undertook this work, including site visits to the region, background research and interviews with nearly 100 farmers, chefs, food processors and distributors, and other stakeholders in and near the region. The resulting assessment and plan is being used by STWRPDB to focus their local food strategy and galvanize the many partners to concerted action.