WATERTOWN, NY (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul on Saturday signed legislation making the Nourish New York program permanent state law. The signing comes just before the Thanksgiving holiday, allowing the state to continue to divert surplus farm produce to the needy.
Nourish New York redirects surplus agricultural produce from the state to people who need it most through state food banks. Food banks buy these products from farmers and food processors in New York City, providing support to producers who have lost markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented hardship for so many New Yorkers and made matters worse for those already struggling,” Governor Hochul said. “The implementation of the Nourish NY program has been a huge success in helping people facing food insecurity while also benefiting New York farms. As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, I am proud to sign this legislation to ensure that our state will continue to fight hunger and provide for those in need. “
State food banks purchased more than 35 million pounds of New York food items in Nourish New York’s first three cycles, providing nearly 30 million meals to New Yorkers in need. As of Saturday, state food banks purchased nearly 7 million pounds of food in the initiative’s fourth cycle, creating more than five million meals for households in need.
Since its launch in May 2020, $ 85 million has been committed to Nourish NY, which has positively impacted 4,178 businesses statewide. New York farmers, suppliers, and processors are encouraged to share details of their available products, such as produce, meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy, for food banks in the State can find New York farm food items to purchase and distribute to communities in need.
“Nourish NY has served as a critical pipeline to get food from our farms to those in need during the pandemic, especially when there have been severe disruptions in the supply chain,” said the President of New York. Farm Bureau, David Fisher. “Governor Hochul’s action today makes the program a permanent fixture in New York State. Nourish NY will continue to help farmers cover the costs of harvesting, packing and transporting fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and more, while ensuring that all New Yorkers can put food on their own. table. It’s important that we continue to work together to strengthen New York’s agriculture and our local food system, so that we have the ability to feed ourselves long after the pandemic is over. “
New York farmers and suppliers interested in sharing surplus produce can do so online. All produce must be grown in New York, available at competitive wholesale prices, and available by truck. Condiments and sweeteners are not eligible.
Food banks interested in purchasing food can search the state website by county, type of food, shipping preference, etc. Supplier details are available, along with the dates the products are available and can be shipped.