Senator Pam Helming today called on Governor Hochul to sign legislation (S.4892-A), unanimously passed by the Senate and Assembly, to make the Nourish New York program permanent. The program creates a vital link between local farmers and area food banks and was launched in April 2020 in response to pandemic-related food supply chain issues. Since then, Nourish New York has directed 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products to food banks, helping put food on family tables across the Finger Lakes, Central New York, and Southern Tier.
“Food insecurity impacts so many families across our area and throughout the state. No one should struggle to feed their children or put food on the table,” said Senator Helming. “The Nourish New York program has been tremendously successful, creating a bridge between our hardworking farmers and community-based food banks. It has opened new opportunities to local farmers and expanded access to fresh, locally-grown foods. I have been a proud advocate for this program, and I encourage Governor Hochul to expedite the signing of this bill so Nourish New York is made permanent and continues to make a difference for our local families and farmers.”
During the 17-month period that Nourish New York has been operating, roughly 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products have been directly purchased from more than 4,000 state farms and delivered to over 1.3 million residents in need.
Under the legislation, food banks and emergency food shelters would be eligible for state funding for the direct purchase of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products from local farms. Senator Helming also noted that the Nourish New York program complements other important initiatives like the Farm-to-School program that connects local schools and farms.
Also attached above is Senator Helming's letter to Governor Hochul urging her to maintain the 60-hour overtime threshold for farmworkers.