The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of unforeseen consequences across the city, state and country, and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is working to help mitigate one of these issues that affects so many people: food waste.
Reports are showing how farmers from across the United States are forced to destroy millions of pounds of their crops and produce that they cannot sell. With the closure of restaurants, hotels, schools and other businesses that rely on fresh food each day, farmers are struggling to find a place for their produce.
Even as farmers donate some of their surplus stock to charity organizations like Meals on Wheels, there is only so much fresh produce these programs can take in, store, and deliver before it goes bad.
“As we continue to contend with the COVID-19 crisis, we must take a look at how we can help our farmers in New York State, and the individuals in need, by getting the food to places that can use it most, so as not to waste it,” Addabbo said. “It hurts to know that so many of my constituents are food insecure during this pandemic, while millions of pounds of food and dairy products are going to waste each day.”
Based on his concern, the Senator sent a letter to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, requesting the current status of the state’s farmers and whether the practice of prematurely disposing of food is occurring in our state. “We need to find the means necessary that will provide our state’s farmers with resources and contacts to get their food and dairy surplus to the people that need it the most,” Addabbo reiterated.
Addabbo hopes to put food suppliers in touch with local pantries and distributors that service populations right in the communities that need the food.
“I understand that there is no way to get all of the excess food which farmers have grown delivered to the people and organizations that need it,” the Senator added. “But any amount of food that does not get wasted and finds its way to helping hungry New Yorkers is a win. I look forward to working with the Governor and the state agencies to help remedy this situation as best as possible.”