Applehoni to Raise Funds for Food Bank of the Hudson Valley
The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has announced the creation of a new food product to be featured in stores across the region in 2016. Conceived as a fundraiser for the non-profit Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, Applehoni is a vegan honey alternative. Made from Hudson Valley apples and infused with natural flavors, it comes in three varieties: blackberry, orange blossom, and natural wildflower. The distinctive, handsomely designed 9oz. test jars were recently unveiled at the Community Foundations annual garden party held at Montgomery Place in Dutchess County.
Once in stores, these “honi” jars will serve as a source of funding for critical efforts to tackle food insecurity in the region. All profits from Applehoni will go to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to support programs that provide farm fresh food to underserved communities from Newburgh to Albany. Part of a larger, multi-year grant from Local Economies Project, the product launch is an example of how grant awards can be creatively leveraged by charitable organizations to generate self-sustaining financial support for the long term.
The arrival of Applehoni marks the culmination of a year-long research and development process that involved exploring a variety of potential ingredients. The product team settled on apples with the idea of using a signature ingredient that could be both readily sourced from local farms and widely identified with the Hudson Valley. A further challenge was to avoid duplicating products already on the market. Salsa, for example, was ruled out since it is already being produced by Hudson Valley farm and food businesses.
“We were careful not to offer a product that would compete directly with the farmers,” explains Kevin Quilty, Vice President, Ulster, for the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. “Apple cider is plentiful, available 365 days a year, and can be frozen. It’s also an iconic food of our region – all these factors led us to creating an apple-based product.”
The next step for the project team will be to produce Applehoni in large quantities for marketing to retail outlets next year. If all goes well, according to Quilty, this could be the first in a full line of Food Bank products – “A ‘Newman’s Own’ with a local twist and a benefit back to the community – it seems a winning combo.”
In the meantime, graced with the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley seal on the cap, Applehoni will undoubtedly appeal to those who care as much about food access as they do about supporting local farms.