ALBANY – Legislation that directs surplus agricultural products to local food banks has passed in the New York State Senate.
Senator George Borrello, who partnered with a downstate lawmaker to create the act, says the bill’s passage moves the Nourish New York program another step forward to becoming permanent.
Borrello says the farm-to-food bank program was drafted after he heard feedback from farmers and food banks alike last year.
The two groups equally faced challenges during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with farms having a tough time selling some products and food banks keeping their shelves stocked.
“Many of us will never forget the images of desperate New Yorkers standing in line for hours at food pantries in order to obtain provisions that would feed their families for a few days,” wrote Borrello in a statement. “When stories of farmers having to dump milk and abandon their crops because of fractured supply chains then came to light, the impetus to create a state initiated farm-to-food bank system was born.”
The Senator says over the past 11 months, the effort has grown into a vital new channel for moving fresh farm products to those in need.