ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) — New York senior citizens will soon have better access to locally grown food.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has awarded the Department of Agriculture and Markets more than $3.8 million to expand the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the funding is part of the $50 million the FNS is granting throughout 47 states to assist farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs.
Later this year, Gov. Hochul plans to issue an Executive Order that will direct New York State agencies to source 30% of their food from New York farms. School districts and local governments will also be encouraged to meet this goal.
“One of our biggest strengths as a state is the wide scope of what we have to offer, and our farms’ bounty is at the top of that list,” she said in a press release. “With a fifth of our land used for farming for our 33,000 family farms, we’re bringing more of New York’s fresh produce and products not only to our seniors, but also to schools and State agencies — supporting our farms and promoting healthier lifestyles.”
The governor’s proposed FY24 Executive Budget additionally sets aside millions of dollars to help her commitment to boost New York’s agriculture and local food sourcing: $50 million for “scratch cooking facilities for schools using New York Farm products;” $10 million for providing “expanded food access to farm markets, food co-ops and other retail food stores in underserved communities;” and more than $2.2 million to “expand urban agriculture infrastructure and community gardens across the state.”
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