ELBA, NY (WROC) — A truck left a upstate farm in Elba on Thursday headed to New York City, full of surplus food, donated to food pantries for families in need.
Torrey farms sends 30% of it’s produce to the food service industry, but as COVID-19 closed most restaurants, schools, and other wholesalers, Maureen Torrey- Marshall couldn’t sell her products.
“We had milk that we didn’t have a home for, wondered if there was vegetables and fruit,” said Maureen Torrey-Marshall, with Torrey Farms and Paul-Marshal Produce.
While Some upstate farmers are finding themselves with extra food and no one to give it to-, some downstate New York communities are facing a food shortage.
In fact Many areas in the Queens neighborhood are considered food deserts, with pantries closing every day from covid-19 sickness, leading to a partnership between government in New york city and upstate farms
“Senator Ramos in Queens called us and said can you help us we’d like to give some food to the people in our district,” said Torrey- Marshall.
More than 42,000 pounds of produce is being packed on this truck, headed for Queens food pantries.
This is the third shipment in three weeks of things like milk, apples, onions, and cabbage, enough food to feed 800 families.
“This was just a natural we could use our seconds or if we didn’t have second we use our first, what we would sell to a customer,” said Torrey- Marshall.
Through the $25 million Nourish New York program, the farmers and truckers are being compensated for the partnership, a beneficial exchange for families on each side.
“We’re helping take care of the food desert that exists in new york city, these people are working people like the people on our farms are,” said Torrey- Marshall. “The agriculture community is much like that, it doesn’t matter what people step up and help each other.”
This was the third shipment of food to go from upstate farms to downstate, and leaders say this project is all about becoming a good leaders.
The partnership is a result of coordination efforts from State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens). Food distribution locations include, the district Senate office in East Elmhurst, Queens, Elmcor, First Baptist Church, St. Leo’s Church, Corona Christian church, Young Urban Moms, and others.