WATERCITY, NY (WWTI) — Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Saturday making the Nourish New York Program a permanent part of state law. The signing comes just before Thanksgiving, allowing the state to continue diverting surplus agricultural produce to the needy.
Nourish New York diverts the state’s surplus agricultural products to the people who need them most through the state’s food banks. Food banks buy these products from New York farmers and food processors and provide support to producers who have lost markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented hardship to so many New Yorkers and made things worse for those already struggling,” Governor Hochul said. “Implementing the Nourish NY program has been a huge success in helping people dealing with food insecurity, while also benefiting New York farms. As we prepare to celebrate the holiday season, I am proud to sign this legislation to ensure that our state will continue to fight hunger and provide for those in need.”
The state’s food banks purchased more than 35 million pounds of New York food items during the first three rounds of Nourish New York, providing nearly 30 million meals to New Yorkers in need. Since Saturday, the state’s food banks have purchased nearly 7 million pounds of food in the fourth round of the initiative, creating more than five million meals for households in need.
Since its May 2020 launch, $85 million has been pledged to Nourish NY, positively impacting 4,178 companies statewide. New York farmers, suppliers and processors are encouraged to share details about their available products, such as produce, meat, eggs, seafood and dairy, so that food banks across the state can find New York agricultural food products to buy and distribute to communities in need. to have.
“Nourish NY served as a critical pipeline to get food from our farms to those in need during the pandemic, especially when there were severe supply chain disruptions,” said David Fisher, chairman of the New York Farm Bureau. “Today’s action by Governor Hochul makes the program a fixture in New York State. Nourish NY will continue to help farmers with the costs of harvesting, packing and transporting fruits, vegetables, dairy and more, while ensuring all New Yorkers can put food on their table. It is important that we continue to work together to strengthen New York’s agriculture and our local food system so that we are able to feed ourselves long after the pandemic is over.”
New York farmers and suppliers interested in sharing surplus produce can that be done online. All products must be grown in New York, available at competitive wholesale prices and available by truck. Spices and sweeteners are not eligible.
Food banks interested in buying food can search the state website by province, food type, shipping preference, and more. Vendor details are available, along with the dates the products will be available and where they can be shipped.