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Upstate New York will share $2.7M for low income, rural food access

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  • Digital Team 

Nearly $3 million will be available for feeding low income, rural, tribal, and remote New Yorkers, according to an announcement from Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.

At this point, $2.7 million in Reach and Resiliency grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand The Emergency Food Assistance Program’s reach into remote, rural, Tribal, and low-income areas.

The areas targeted are currently underserved by the program, according to Hochul’s office.

The grant is part of the USDA’s Build Back Better initiative to support and expand the country’s emergency food network so that food banks and local organizations can reliably serve their communities.

“We have a moral obligation to break down the logistic and stigmatic barriers that block access to nutritious, culturally-relevant food for those who need it the most,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m inspired by the creative strategies the food banks will employ to support food insecure New Yorkers, and we will continue to take bold action to ensure no New Yorker ever goes hungry.”

“Food instability is one of the most troubling issues facing many low-income New Yorkers across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “The federal Reach and Resiliency grant will help put food on the table for many New York families in some of our most remote communities and underserved areas and help stock our food banks and local charities.”

The Office of General Services’ USDA Food Distribution group will administer the grant through its agreements with eight regional food banks that serve the entire State. Under the OGS agreements, the food banks distributed more than 90 million pounds of USDA foods in 2021 through their network of more than 2,700 organizations that faced increased demands for food during the pandemic.

Collectively, the food banks will establish and increase the use of mobile and pop-up food pantries; facilitate custom ordering to increase the delivery of culturally relevant foods; purchase a refrigerated truck and hire more drivers to transport TEFAP food; expand a commercial cooler and purchase refrigerators, freezers, and shelves to store more TEFAP food safely; and establish and fortify relationships in underserved communities to enable broader access to TEFAP foods for the food insecure in remote, rural, Tribal, and low-income areas.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“OGS’s long-standing relationships with the food banks enable us to effectively supplement the nutritional needs of New York’s most vulnerable populations in all reaches of the state. Our dedicated staff help ensure the food banks distribute TEFAP foods equitably and expeditiously to locations throughout New York State. With Governor Hochul’s leadership and the food banks’ partnerships, OGS is proud to help close the hunger gap in New York,” Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy said.

OGS will retain a small amount of the grant funds to cover its costs of oversight and monitoring and provide the following amounts to the food banks to implement their solutions: $1,455,739 to the Food Bank for New York City in the Bronx; $252,884 to the Regional Food Bank Northeastern New York in Latham; $181,753 to FeedMore Western New York in Buffalo; $171,697 to Food Bank of Central New York in Syracuse; $143,489 to Foodlink in Rochester; $123,867 to Long Island Cares in Hauppauge; $62,056 to Feeding Westchester in Elmsford; and $61,320 to Food Bank of the Southern Tier in Elmira.