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Hundreds of Families to Receive Food from Upstate NY Producers as Part of Nourish NY Initiative with Food Bank of Central New York

Thursday, May 7, 2020

SYRACUSE, NY (05/07/2020) – On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Food Bank of Central New York will host a food distribution at the New York State (NYS) Fairgrounds as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Nourish New York Initiative”. The drive-thru style distribution will take place from 12:00 – 3:30 pm at the Horticulture Building. Individuals and families in need of food must preregister here.

Food Bank of Central New York has seen more than a 20% increase in demand for emergency food throughout their eleven county service area. During the month of March, the Food Bank distributed 1,800,000 pounds and that number rose in April to 2,000,000 pounds. April’s distribution represents a 40% increase in pounds distributed compared to a typical pre-COVID-19 month. Many of the people creating the surge in demand have been recently furloughed or laid-off and are unable to make ends meet during this difficult time.

“Food Bank of Central New York works every day to feed the hungry. Funding through Nourish New York is an opportunity to continue to help people in our communities through food distributions of dairy, produce, and other agricultural items. During our 35-year history, we have created strong agricultural partnerships and the Nourish New York Initiative highlights those relationships,” said Karen Belcher, Interim Executive Director at Food Bank of Central New York. “We appreciate the continued support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the New York State Fair as we are all faced with the economic impacts that this pandemic has created.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Governor Cuomo's Nourish New York program provides a critical link between our state's farmers and food producers and our New York families in need during this difficult time. We are pleased to offer the use of the Horticulture Building to support this important initiative and the excellent work being done by the Food Bank of Central NY to provide for our communities.”

On April 27, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of the “Nourish New York Initiative” to purchase food and products from Upstate farms that will be directed to food banks across the state. This initiative is focused on working to quickly reroute New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them through food banks and other emergency food providers.

The ten NYS Food Banks received a direct grant award requiring that they use 85% or more of their grant award to source New York State dairy products, produce and other foods or food products in consultation with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSAGM). Tuesday’s distribution is a joint effort between Food Bank of Central New York, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the NYS Fair personnel.

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