The program that moves surplus crops from farms into New York State’s food banks is now permanent under state law.

Governor Kathy Hochul Friday, November 19, signed the legislation making the Nourish New York program that addresses food insecurity while helping farmers sell their crops, a permanent fixture.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

The initiative has been a temporary program which has been renewed four times and partners agriculture in the state with the food banks in a deal that allows the food insecurity programs to purchase surplus agricultural products.

Nourish NY provides much-needed support and fresh foods for populations in the state who need them the most while also supporting farmers who have lost markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Last year, dairy farmers were forced to dump milk as the restaurants, schools and other facilities that normally bought milk and cheese had to close under mandates handed down by the state during the pandemic.

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In the first three rounds of Nourish New York, food banks have purchased over 35 million pounds of agricultural products. The current fourth round has seen food banks purchasing close to seven million pounds of food, which translates into over 5,752,805 meals.

Since the program was implemented in May, 2020, $85 million has been committed to Nourish NY with $50 million in this year's budget.

You can learn more about Nourish NY at https://agriculture.ny.gov/NourishNY.

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