LATHAM, NY — April 14, 2017 — The Food Bank Association of New York is pleased that the recently passed 2017-2018 New York State budget incorporates funding for the bi-partisan “Farm-to-Food-Bank” bill, according to Anita M. Paley, Executive Director.
“The ‘Farm-to-Food-Bank’ bill, signed by Governor Cuomo after two previous vetoes, now gives farmers across New York State the ability to claim credit for 25% of the value of the food they generously donate to hunger-relief organizations,” said Paley. “This is a significant victory not only for New York’s agricultural communities but for the 2.7 million hungry New Yorkers who will now have increased access to nutritious fruits, vegetables, and dairy products through our statewide network of food banks.” The tax credit for donated food will offset a portion of the costs incurred by farmers to pick, package and deliver the fresh produce to regional food banks.
One of the goals of the Food Bank Association of New York is to provide healthier food choices for the people they serve. According to the American Heart Association, persistent food-insecurity and the lack of access to healthy, nutritious food, often leads to chronic health problems including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among low-income individuals, including children.
“The ‘Farm-to-Food-Bank’ bill will, in our estimation, increase the amount of healthier, farm-fresh foods onto the tables of food-insecure New Yorkers. That, in turn, will help stem the advance of health-related problems often faced by the people who are accessing emergency feeding programs,” stated Paley, who noted that in 2016 New York’s farmers donated 13 million pounds of products through local food banks.
“This is the first real effort of the Food Bank Association of New York’s Advocacy Committee in promoting an important statewide initiative,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, Chair of the Advocacy Committee of Food Bank Association of New York. “We are thrilled to have worked with such dedicated legislators who firmly believed that this was an important bill for the farmers, the food banks and the residents of New York State who face the uncertainty of not always knowing when their next meal may be.”
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Senate and Assembly leadership, especially Senator Richard Funke and Assemblyman Francisco Moya for their stewardship in driving and negotiating funding for the ‘Farm-to-Food-Bank’ bill, and to Governor Cuomo for his backing and for always being a champion for the 2.7 million New Yorkers facing hunger. We’re also grateful for all the organizations that advocated on our behalf for this important initiative,” concluded Paley.
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Anita M. Paley
Food Bank Association of New York State
965 Albany Shaker Road
Latham, NY 12110
West End Strategies, Ltd.