Senate Passes The “Buy From the Backyard Act”

Kenneth P. LaValle

June 14, 2011

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said he voted for and the Senate passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” on June 13 to promote the purchase of food grown or produced locally. The bill requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources.

“If every household in New York spent just $15 per week on local food, we could pump $5.5 billion into New York State’s economy,” said Senator LaValle, who noted that Suffolk County is the largest agricultural county in New York State.  “This bill will help state agencies join in supporting our farmers and stimulate the economy,” LaValle said.

The bill expands upon an existing law, which creates a program that encourages the purchase of local food products by state agencies. Mental health facilities, prisons, universities and state institutions that have food contracts would be required to purchase at least 20 percent that is grown, produced, harvested or processed in New York State.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.