Nourish NY, a farm-to-food bank initiative established in 2020, has been allotted $50 million in this year’s state budget.
However, concerns over funding access and its equitable distribution have arisen among state legislators.
Some have criticized the New York State Department of Health’s management of the program noting it has become a major hinderance, instead of helper to get food to those in need.
Originally launched during the federal public health emergency to aid farmers and reinforce feeding schemes, the program was made permanent by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2021.
Despite its noble intent, Sen. Borrello has pointed out that for some farmers and food banks, accessing the funds has proven difficult.
Echoing the program’s value, the Department of Health commented on its effectiveness in connecting surplus farm produce with New Yorkers in need.
In the previous year, purchases through the program amounted to over a million gallons of milk for dairy goods and 33.4 million pounds of food, culminating in over 27 million meals for households. The allocation of this year’s funds is still under review.
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