NY announces it will target vaccine to farmworkers, food production companies

Posted 13 April 2021 at 4:04 pm

State will partner with community health centers, local health departments to bring pop-up vaccination sites to farms

Photo from Governor’s Office: Andrew Cuomo speaks at Angry Orchards in Orange County today, announcing a push to get farmworkers and food production workers vaccinated.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new targeted effort to vaccinate workers at New York State farms and food production facilities. The state will coordinate with local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers to bring pop-up vaccination sites to workers, including migrant workers, at their places of employment.

The Governor also announced that as part of the new vaccination effort, New York State will provide 500 doses to Sun River Health, a local health care network, to administer to Angry Orchard employees, as well as farm and food production workers from other facilities in the Orange County area. Vaccines will be administered beginning Wednesday, April 21.

“As we continue to expand eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine and establish more pop-up sites to reach New Yorkers in underserved communities, it’s critical that we bring the vaccine to every part of the state, not just those with high populations,” Cuomo said at Angry Orchards in Orange County today. “That’s why we’re making sure food production workers and farm workers in rural areas, including migrant workers, get vaccinated for Covid-19.”

New York Farm Bureau State Director Chris Kelder said, “Farmworkers are essential to the success of agriculture and to feeding millions of New York’s consumers, from St. Lawrence County to Manhattan.  It is critical that workers have ongoing access to Covid-19 vaccines to ensure their health and safety as they do their work. Access to vaccines has been the leading priority of New York Farm Bureau and farmers from across the state.”

The effort to vaccinate food production workers and farmworkers builds on New York’s efforts to combat food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The FY 2022 Enacted Budget adds $50 million to Nourish New York for a total $85 million investment to extend the program through 2021. This critical program helps people who are food insecure access the nourishment that they need, leveraging the vast agricultural industry of New York State to connect food banks and providers to purchase locally grown and produced food.

Since the Governor launched Nourish NY at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020, 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products have been purchased from New York farmers and delivered to more than 1.3 million households in need across New York State.

Rural & Migrant Ministry Executive Director Reverend Richard Witt said, “It is important for all of us involved in the food system: farmworkers, farmers, consumers, the health system and the State continue to work diligently to ensure that farmworkers are protected and vaccinated. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward.”

Rural & Migrant Ministry Catskill Regional Coordinator Juanita Sarmiento said, “I have seen first hand, while translating and helping our local rural and migrant communities with testing and vaccines, the impact of this pandemic. We need to continue to uphold not only the efforts to keep New York healthy but to establish an accessible educational campaign on the importance of the vaccination and testing efforts. I’m glad to see us take these steps forward.”