The Long Island Food Coalition is a consortium that brings together a diverse group of Long Island organizations all sharing an interest in local food, land use, the farm-to-table chain, and the social interaction between farmers and community residents. The Initiative has the potential to connect thousands of like-minded people in Nassau and Suffolk Counties as well as in Westchester County and New York City. Our aim is to facilitate gatherings and dialogue among these groups and individuals in order to advance efforts to preserve local agriculture and to expand the sources of locally grown food for our community.
Several successful land and food-oriented programs are already well underway. For nearly eight years, North Shore Land Alliance, the lead sponsor of the Small Farm Coalition, has worked to preserve open space by building stronger relationships between land and the people it supports. Sustainable Long Island partners with a student-run market in underserved communities. Long Island Community Agricultural Network created a community garden in Huntington Station. Suffolk County founded a Victory Garden Task Force and the Girl Scouts of Oyster Bay are growing vegetables for a food-bank. The Long Island Small Farm Initiative hopes to be the avenue through which these and other similar groups can interact and grow stronger.