ALBANY — In what has been a difficult growing season, New York’s farmers have still come through in a big way with food donations across the state. New York Farm Bureau members along with the Food Bank Association of New York State announced today that nearly 11.4 million pounds of fresh food and farm products have been donated by farmers this year through the month of November. That translates to nearly 10 million meals being provided to New Yorkers in need. And with a month to go in the donation effort, the large number is expected to climb. In addition, the New York Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee gave a $200 contribution today to the Food Bank Association of New York State.
Today’s announcement at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is in conjunction with the start of New York Farm Bureau’s 2016 State Annual Meeting in Albany. Members and agricultural partners give as part of a yearlong effort to feed the hungry across the state. The number, only slightly below the 11.6 million pounds that was announced last year at this time, is a large feat when you take into account that farmers dealt with record drought conditions and lower milk and commodity prices this year.
The food is collected through the “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state. In New York, NYFB’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee and the Food Bank Association of NYS administer the statewide donation partnership. The food is then distributed among the 10 Feeding America food banks throughout the state.
“New York farmers have once again demonstrated their generosity with this large food donation. New York Farm Bureau has made it a priority to increase access to fresh, local food for all New Yorkers, and through the work with Feeding America and our outstanding regional food banks across the state, we are making that happen. On behalf of our members, I would like to thank the farmers who donated product despite this difficult year and the Food Bank Association of New York State for this valuable partnership,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President.
“The longstanding and committed partnership between New York Farm Bureau and local food banks has produced remarkable results. Simply put, without this partnership, it would be much harder to feed the hungry in New York State, much less provide them with healthy options. The 10 Food Banks of New York State understand that the healthy product which is shared out of the fields, farms and hearts of the New York Farm Bureau members builds healthy communities. We thank the farmers for their heartfelt cooperation as we continue to feed New York State with their help,” said Anita Paley, executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York State.
“The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York thanks New York Farm Bureau and its members for their enthusiastic support and continued commitment to the Harvest for All program, especially during this year’s difficult growing season,” said Joanne Dwyer, the Food Bank’s Director of Food Industry Relations & Business Development Representative. “Over 80 farmers and producers have donated so far this year in our 23 counties, providing us with the freshest, most nutrient rich food we provide to the nearly 1,000 non-profit programs we serve.”
“New York Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee is proud to be a longtime supporter of the “Harvest for All” program. We are committed to donating to the cause that fills the need for fresh food that exists year round in low income communities. Today is a good reminder for farmers across the state to think of their local food banks as a place to turn to for donations,” said Alex Wright, New York Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Chair.
For more specific information on local food donations, please contact your regional food bank.
–New York Farm Bureau
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