Did you know we have a communal freezer space in Steuben County? The Corning Meat Locker is a community freezer space for storing bulk purchases of locally-raised meat. Though many people are interested in buying meat locally and in bulk, many lack adequate freezer space at home. As a solution to this barrier, we posed the idea of a Meat Locker, just like ones that were frequently used in the 50's and 60's. Our large, walk-in freezer is located in Corning, NY at 55 Ferris St., next to the Corning Credit Union. Locker members rent a plastic bin (either a small 18 gal. bin for $8.00 or a large 25 gal. bin for $10.00 a month) within which they can store their meat. Bins are stacked neatly within the freezer, which maintains a cool 0 degrees. In these conditions, your meat will stay perfectly fresh for up to and often times over a year.
Anyone interested in joining the Meat Locker can do so - the first step is to arrange your bulk purchase. Determine what kind of meat you'd like to purchase, how much, and decide on which farm you'd like to buy from. Searching MeatSuite is an easy way to a get a head start! Arrange your purchase, pay the farmer, and determine whether you'll pick up the meat or have it delivered to the Meat Locker. When all these details are arranged, email Ariel Kirk, Ag Educator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up your intake appointment. Please make this appointment at least 72 hours in advance of when you would like to drop off your meat.
Be sure to arrive with your meat completely frozen, vacuum-sealed, and labeled by cut (i.e., stew beef, 1 lb). Also, please have an inventory of the cuts and pounds of each type of meat you’re storing for record keeping.
The rest is up to you! Take out as much or as little meat from your bin at a time as you would like. We ask that you notify staff at least 48 hours in advance if you'd like to make a pick-up appointment, or 72 hours in advance if you'd like to schedule a drop-off. Only local meat may be stored inside the Meat Locker, with occasional exceptions. Locally-hunted venison is also acceptable for storage in the locker.
We suggest you visit us during open hours for a convenient and reliable time to access your bin.
Currently we will be running open hours every Tuesday at 4:00pm - 6:00pm from May 8th to July 24th, 2018.
In the past few years, we have researched the best marketing channels for livestock farmers to sell meat. The "freezer trade" (sale of animals by the whole, half, and quarter) is the best way for farmers to sell meat locally, so we want to expand the freezer trade in our region. Additional research on the consumer side reveals that freezer trade offers affordability in terms of price per pound. A survey of beef prices around our region, for example, showed that locally raised, high-quality beef and pork can be purchased in bulk for less than grocery store meat! Freezer trade expands accessibility to a larger population and is, in fact, the best way to buy for cash-strapped local meat lovers.
Additionally, The Finger Lakes Meat Project is a regional initiative to grow the freezer trade (sales of meat in bulk quantities such as whole, half and quarter animals) to benefit livestock farmers and consumers. The Project consists of educational efforts, an online directory of farms called MeatSuite and a community freezers called The Meat Locker located in Ithaca, NY and Corning, NY.
The Meat Locker
55 Ferris St
Corning, New York 14830