ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Assembly Republicans announced legislation Thursday to address food insecurity, rural poverty, and farm resiliency in New York State.
Assemblyman Chris Tague and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay announced the “Food Insecurity, Farm Resilience, and Rural Property Initiative.” It would divide up $10 million annually between New York’s 10 regional food banks, so they can buy meat, dairy, and produce from New York farmers, who also need the business right now.
“In the early days of the pandemic, it became very clear that New York farmers were going to get hit hard. Markets and distribution chains were completely disrupted, farmers couldn’t move their goods and their products,” Barclay said.
The package of legislation would help them do more than just move their products.
“It will also help establish farms by providing grants up to $50,000 to farmers who have been in business for over 10 years, through a $5 million program,” said Tague, “they could use it to purchase equipment or improve their infrastructure.”
“This bill is going to become an awesome situation. We’ve, over the years, worked with the food banks, and now I see this is going to give us an opportunity to expand our harvest facilities,” said Phil Trowbridge, owner of Trowbridge Farms in Ghent.