CHENANGO COUNTY – In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the kick-off of the Nourish New York program.
The Nourish New York initiative aims to reroute New York’s surplus food products to areas that need them through the state’s food banks. The state is accomplishing this by providing $25 million to food banks and other emergency food providers so they can buy surplus milk, yogurt, cheese, vegetables, fruit and more from farmers who have lost markets as a result of school and restaurant closures.
Since the kick-off, Food Bank of Central New York has purchased 428,167 pounds of surplus food from New York farmers.
According to an update from NYS Agriculture and Markets, this includes 312,274 pounds of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, butter, and cottage cheese, as well as 77,447 pounds of produce, such as apples, tomatoes, strawberries, onions, lettuce, and potatoes.
Barbara Tompkins oversees Our Daily Bread Food Closet, run by the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. She explained how the smaller local food banks are able to benefit from the Nourish NY program.
"We are a member of the Food Bank of Central New York who receives the surplus food from the Nourish New York program. We use an ordering system, so we put in orders for the food items we need," said Tompkins. "We don't have the refrigeration to take advantage of it the way we'd like, but we take what we can store."