NY bill passes to establish permanent ‘Nourish New York’ program

State Legislature

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2020 file photo, a farmer discs over a corn field on at a farm north of Woodward, Iowa. The corn was damaged beyond salvage by the recent derecho. Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast. Farmers faced challenges throughout 2020 that included the impact of trade disputes; low prices that drove down cash receipts and weather difficulties. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — “Nourish New York,” a program established at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, will now be a permanent state-run program thanks to legislation that was passed this week. The initiative will continue to connect rural farmers with excess product to food banks in need throughout the state through a state-operated purchasing program. 

The bill was passed following a bipartisan effort with New York City Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst), Senator Hinchey (SD-46) and Senator George Borello (SD-57) to make it permanent. The lawmakers say the program has helped support farmers throughout the state, while also bolstering food security for families in urban and rural areas.

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), ranking member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, is celebrating the passage of legislation.

“Cementing the Nourish New York program into law by passing this bill is great news for farmers, families, and rural communities as a whole, and I am elated we were able to work across the aisle to make this vital program permanent,” said Tague.

However, Tague hopes to do even more to “connect the dots” between farmers and food banks by passing the “NY Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency, and Rural Poverty Initiative.” Tague’s initiative would help food banks store more meat and dairy products, while assisting farmers in improving their infrastructure and providing incentives to open processing facilities throughout New York. 

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