The altruistic nature of New York's agricultural community was recognized this week at the New York Farm Bureau annual meeting. "To date, New York State's food banks have received more than 8.3 million pounds of produce and farm products from farmers and producers," reported Sharon Smith, executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York. "Now more than ever, we are deeply appreciative of our partnership with New York Farm Bureau."
Smith went on to say that as many continue to struggle through a challenging economy compounded with the recent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit cuts, the demands on food banks to meet the need for food assistance are great. The generosity of New York's farmers and Farm Bureau provided over 6.9 million meals, she added. And another $1,000 in cash was donated by nine County Farm Bureaus within the Food Bank of Central New York's 11 county geographic area.
How it works
The food is collected through the "Harvest for All" donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking the Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state. With a few weeks left in 2013, it is expected that the incredible farmer food donations will climb even higher.
NYFB's Young Farmers Committee and the Food Bank Association of New York State administer the statewide donation partnership. Under the project, NYFB members donated excess farm products to the 10 New York State Feeding America food banks.
"We work every day so people in our communities and around the world have enough food to eat," said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president. "Events like this one today helps to provide access to healthy, local food to those who may be going through difficult times."
Kathleen Stress, executive director of Food Bank of CNY, reiterated ag's importance: "Agricultural partnerships help Food Bank supply food to our emergency food network. Every family desires fresh produce and quality cuts of meat."