The Nourish New York Initiative is proven to be a lifeline for families and farmers across the state who have been struggling with changes brought on by COVID-19.
In May, Governor Cuomo instituted the program after many farmers were not able to sell their agricultural items due to the pandemic. Since then, Nourish New York has provided $25 million in funding to food banks, with $1,054,000 provided to the Southern Tier, to purchase food items like produce, meat, eggs, and dairy products from New York State farmers and processors.
“The Nourish NY program was put into action incredibly quickly to address the basic needs of our families and our farmers. Almost immediately, the program made a significant impact on our communities, helping to bring food to those in need through the purchase of excess products that our farmers found themselves no longer able to sell,” said Richard Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture for the New York State.
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier has purchased 700,000 pounds of surplus food from New York farmers since the launch of Nourish New York. This includes 268,000 pounds of dairy products and 108,000 pounds of produce.
“Nourish New York has allowed us to incorporate more nutritious, fresh foods, into our weekly Community Food Distributions and our partners’, like pantries and meal sites, menu. Not only do our families appreciate these products, but we are pleased to be able to support our New York State farmers who have always been so generous to us in the past. This is truly a win-win program,” explained Natasha Thompson, Food Bank of the Southern Tier President and CEO.