Funding Provides Boost to New York Farmers and Increases Communities’ Access to Local Foods
USDA Grants Build on State’s Work to Strengthen and Increase the Resilience of the Food Supply Chain
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced over $40 million has been awarded to 102 food service organizations across the state through the New York Food for New York Families program. The program, funded through a United States Department of Agriculture grant, aims to provide a boost to New York farmers, increase communities’ access to local foods, and further strengthen New York’s food system. This initiative continues Governor Hochul’s commitment to supporting New York’s agricultural industry and increasing the resilience of the state’s food supply chain.
“Every New Yorker deserves access to fresh, healthy, and delicious local food that helps them feel their best, which is why we’re taking solid steps to strengthen our state’s food supply system,” Governor Hochul said. “The New York Food for New York Families program is part of that commitment, helping to get more New York products onto tables in communities that need them most. The funds awarded today will help local food organizations across the state expand their reach, feeding more families and offering greater support to our farmers – a win-win for our state.”
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets was awarded two rounds of funding through the USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA) Program to implement the New York Food for New York Families Program. The program was designed to create a more resilient statewide food system that supports local farms and provides high quality, nutritious food to communities facing food insecurity.
Grant funds were awarded to a diverse group of 102 organizations across the state, including food banks and pantries, schools and universities, farm collectives, medical centers, and a variety of non-profit organizations, to implement projects that purchase New York-grown food products and distribute them to underserved communities. It also provides technical assistance to help growers sell into the New York Food for New York Families program. Food purchases will support local farmers, including traditionally disadvantaged farmers, help producers access new markets, fill gaps in the supply and distribution chain, and increase access of underserved communities to local food.
Twenty-six projects were awarded between $200,000 and $2,000,000 for a total of $37.3 million. The awards are:
- Buffalo City School District (Western New York), $2,000,000
- The Campaign Against Hunger, Inc. (New York City), $2,000,000
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Putnam County (New York City), $2,000,000
- Council on the Environment Inc. (New York City), $2,000,000
- FeedMore Western New York, Inc. (Western New York), $2,000,000
- Food Bank of Central New York (Central New York), $2,000,000
- Food Bank For New York City (New York City), $2,000,000
- Island Harvest LTD (Long Island), $2,000,000
- Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York Inc. (Capital Region/Mid-Hudson), $2,000,000
- Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty (New York City), $2,000,000
- RiseBoro Community Partnership Inc. (New York City), $2,000,000
- Skyline Charitable Foundation (New York City), $2,000,000
- New York Common Pantry, Inc. (New York City), $1,991,244
- Food Bank Association Of New York State (Capital Region/Statewide), $1,985,703
- Institute for Community Equity & Sharing, Inc. (New York City), $1,877,586
- Cornell University (Southern Tier), $1,647,262
- United Way of New York City (New York City), $822,395
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (Western New York), $800,000
- Infinity Educational Special Programs Corp (New York City/ Long Island/ Statewide), $750,000
- Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation Inc. (North Country), $731,085
- Foodlink Inc. (Finger Lakes), $703,934
- Feeding Westchester, Inc. (Mid-Hudson), $609,057
- Capital Roots Inc. (Capital Region), $500,000
- BronxWorks Inc. (New York City), $450,000
- AdkAction (North Country), $238,761
- Comfort Food of Washington County, Inc. (Capital Region), $217,500
In addition, 76 organizations were awarded between $10,000 and $50,000 for a total of $3.6 million. The complete list of awardees is available here. A second application for funding will be announced in the coming months.
New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball said, “One of our priorities at the Department is increasing food security in our communities and developing a strong, local food supply chain right here at home. The funding from the New York Food for New York Families program will help local food organizations expand their impact on the farmers they support and the families they help feed. I’m grateful to Governor Hochul and our partners at USDA for helping us to continue our work putting more New York products onto tables in communities that need them most.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “From Buffalo to the Bronx, food banks and community organizations are working overtime this Thanksgiving week to help feed our kids and families, and I am proud to help deliver this $40 million federal investment to help them boost services with food produced right here in New York. This investment made possible by the USDA is a win-win strengthening the resiliency of our local food supply and supporting New York’s farmers. Every family deserves access to fresh, healthy, and locally sourced food, and I am thankful for the amazing work every one of these awardees do and will always fight to deliver the support they need to keep our kids and families fed.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “The New York Food for New York Families program helps ensure that New Yorkers have access to healthy, nutritious food,” “This funding will further strengthen New York State’s food supply system, ensuring local food is available to communities that need it most, all while supporting local farmers. I am thankful for USDA’s commitment to increasing food security in New York and I will continue to fight to ensure that all New York families have healthy food on their tables.”
USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said, “USDA is excited to continue our partnership with New York, through New York Food for New York Families. Funded through USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Program, which allows state, tribal and territorial governments to purchase and distribute locally grown, healthy and nutritious food, New York Food for New York Families will work to strengthen markets for local producers while helping local communities facing food insecurity.”
The State has launched several groundbreaking programs in recent years to improve access to healthy, locally grown foods and to bring New York-grown foods and beverages to underserved communities and into New York State schools.
The Nourish NY initiative has purchased, through the state's network of food banks and emergency food providers, more than $153 million worth of food from local farmers and delivered it to families in need. Additionally, the State’s Council on Hunger and Food Policy convenes to provide state policymakers with expertise on how to address hunger and improve access to healthy, local food for New York State residents. The work of the Council was critical during the establishment of the Nourish New York program, thanks to its focus on strengthening ties and cooperation between programs addressing hunger and those who produce and supply food.
The 30% NYS School Initiative, the State's Farm-to School program, and child nutrition programs administered by the State Education Department are focused on buying more local products from New York farmers and increasing healthy and nutritious local foods for New York school lunches.
Governor Hochul's 2023 State of the State Address and New York State’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget included strong support and investments aimed at boosting demand for New York agricultural products, bolstering New York's food supply chain, and ensuring all New Yorkers can produce and access fresh, local foods. This includes the Governor’s Executive Order directing State agencies to increase the percentage of food sourced from New York farmers and producers to 30 percent of their total purchases within five years and raising the discretionary threshold for schools to purchase local food and food products from $20,000 to $150,000, a significant increase from that prior threshold.
Additionally, the Budget included $50 million over five years to support regional cooking facilities that will facilitate the use of fresh New York State farm products in meal preparation for K-12 school children. To further improve food access opportunities in traditionally underserved communities, the Budget included a $10 million grant program to support the establishment of farm markets, supermarkets, food cooperatives, and other similar retail food stores, along with supporting infrastructure in underserved communities and regions of the State.