The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Health provided additional details on the distribution of the $25 million Nourish New York initiative, as announced yesterday by Governor Cuomo.
The Nourish New York initiative, launched by the Governor on Monday, is working to quickly reroute New York's surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through New York's network of food banks. Funding will be allocated regionally and based on need, from the State's special public health emergency fund, for food banks and emergency food providers across the state.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Nourish New York will be a lifeline for our families and our farmers who have been struggling with changes brought on by COVID-19. The agricultural industry has continued to give back to New York communities during this time; however, they have seen devastating losses financially as a result of lost markets, such as schools and restaurants. I am grateful to the Governor and to the entire Nourish New York team for launching this critical program that will help people who are food insecure to access the nourishment that they need while providing much-needed relief for our farmers."
State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, "During this pandemic response, we continue to come together as a statewide community, first to mobilize and expand our healthcare sector and now to help meet struggling New Yorkers' nutritional needs. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's $25 million Nourish initiative, we will leverage the state's robust agricultural sector to ensure that food is distributed throughout the state to those in need."
Emergency food providers can spend the money in a variety of ways, including drive-through giveaways, handing out dairy vouchers to be redeemed at grocery stores, and buying products directly from New York dairy and food manufacturers to use for their feeding programs.
Of the $25 million total, the Capital/Hudson Valley Region, which includes a portion of the North Country and the Mohawk Valley, will receive $4,357,115. The Central NY Region, which also includes a portion of the North Country and the Mohawk Valley, will receive $2,202,404.