Governor pushes for $25 million more from state to continue Nourish NY program

Posted 18 January 2021 at 9:08 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Greg Reed, director of the Orleans County YMCA, hands a box to Andrew Lafave on June 12 during a food distribution at the Calvary Tabernacle Church in Medina. The boxes at this distribution were in three groups: mixed dairy, cooked meat and produce. Each box was about 25 pounds. YMCA staff helped with several food distributions last year. Some of the food distributions in Orleans County last year were the Nourish NY program. Most of the distributions were through a federal USDA initiative – Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Cuomo will continue supporting the Nourish NY Initiative to ensure that no New Yorker goes hungry, continues commitment to purchase goods from New York State farmers and producers, protect the stability of our agricultural economy and help ensure that New York residents continue to access local nutritious foods.

As of December 1, 2020, Nourish NY has resulted in $26.4 million in purchases for 17 million pounds of food More than one million households have received New York State products through food distributions and more than 4,000 farms have benefitted from the initiative.

“During this painful year, far too many New York families are experiencing food instability and hunger at a time when social services and community providers are stretched thin,” Cuomo said. “New York state has long prioritized ending food insecurity and delivering healthy, fresh food to all New York families, through programs such as the Farm to Food Bank tax credit and the No Student Goes Hungry campaign, and we will continue to support the Nourish NY program to ensure the resiliency of our food system and that all families in New York retain access to healthy, locally grown food.”

Cuomo has made the mitigation of food insecurity and the resiliency of agriculture a priority. As of 2018, he established the Farm to Food Bank tax credit that compensates producers for the donation of fresh food to the emergency food system.

In 2018, the Governor also launched the No Student Goes Hungry campaign that resulted in the establishment of food pantries on every SUNY campus and increased the grant funding available for the Farm-to-School Program which facilitates the direct purchase of New York State products for school meal programs.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, farmers experienced a drastic supply chain shift, which resulted in the loss of markets and income and in the waste of fresh surplus foods, particularly fluid milk. Simultaneously, the demand for food through emergency food providers escalated across the state.

Seeing the opportunity to feed residents and aid farmers, the Governor launched the Nourish NY Initiative. This initiative provided $35 million in funds for the purchase of foods grown, raised, or processed in New York State and has served as an important alternative revenue stream for farmers and dairy processors during the pandemic.