New York farmers donate more than eight million pounds of food to regional food banksby jmaloni
New York Farm Bureau kicks off 2013 state annual meeting with significant donation
New York Farm Bureau members, along with the Feeding America NYS Food Banks, are once again showcasing their partnership. The giving nature of the state agricultural community is demonstrated with this year's total of almost 8.4 million pounds of food donated by New York Farm Bureau members.
In addition, NYFB also handed over a nearly $1,000 cash donation from nine County Farm Bureaus within the Food Bank of Central New York's 11-county geographic area. The event was in conjunction with the start of New York Farm Bureau's 2013 state annual meeting in Syracuse. Members and agricultural partners give as part of a yearlong effort to feed the hungry across the state.
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 the farmer food donations will climb even higher. Since the Harvest for All program began 10 years ago, New York farmers routinely rank at the top of the list among states for their generosity.
In New York, 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 located across the state.
"I could not be prouder of my fellow Farm Bureau members who give so generously to those in need," said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau. "We work every day so people in our communities and around the world have enough food to eat, and events like this one ... helps to provide access to healthy, local food to those who may be going through difficult times. For the past decade, New York's farms have made it a priority to partner with the Food Banks across this state, and I look forward to maintaining this important relationship in the future to help our neighbors in need."
"The Young Farmers Committee is honored to be a part of such a wonderful day. Not only does this give us an opportunity to thank our generous members for their giving spirit throughout the year, but it also puts the focus on the great work performed by the Food Bank of Central New York and its partner organizations across this state," said Jake Schieferstine, Young Farmers Committee chair.
"This year, as many New Yorkers continue to struggle through a challenging economy, compounded with the recent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit cuts, the demands on food banks to meet the need for food assistance are great," said Sharon M. Smith, the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York. "The generosity of New York's farmers and the Farm Bureau is of critical importance in meeting this increased need. To date, New York state's food banks have received over 8.3 million pounds of produce and farm products from our farmers and producers, which in turn provide over 6.9 million wholesome, nutritious meals. Now more than ever, we are deeply appreciative of our partnership with New York Farm Bureau."