Speaker Carl Heastie, Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz today announced the Assembly has passed legislation to establish the Nourish New York program in law, which connects surplus agricultural products with food relief organizations (A.5781-A, Cruz).
“Too many New Yorkers struggled to put food on the table before the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis,” Speaker Heastie said. “By establishing the Nourish New York program, we are helping connect those who are most in need with healthy fresh food and produce, and support our hardworking farmers and agricultural businesses.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed just how vulnerable our food supply chain is,” said Assemblymember Lupardo. “Our farmers and producers struggled to get their products to market, while many were going hungry. The Nourish New York program became a lifeline for farmers and food banks alike, moving surplus from rural communities to urban, creating a bond we can build on in the years to come.”
“The Nourish New York program strengthened our state’s food supply network at a time when our friends and neighbors were most in need,” Assemblymember Cruz said. “But hunger does not end with the pandemic. This program helps combat food insecurity in our communities, while building new markets for our state’s farm products.”
The Nourish New York program was creating during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to disruptions in the food supply chain that left New York farmers having to throw away products they could not sell and food banks and other relief organizations struggling to fulfill the needs of increased food insecurity in communities across the state. The legislation that passed this week establishes the program in law, helping individuals and communities access healthy local products, and provide markets for New York farmers and agricultural businesses.
The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Budget included $50 million for Nourish New York.