New York Farm Bureau kicks off 2014 state annual meeting with donation announcement
It is a banner year for farmer food donations all across the state. New York Farm Bureau members, along with the Feeding America New York State Food Banks, announced at Foodlink almost 9.6 million pounds of food and farm products have been donated by New York Farm Bureau members in 2014 (through the month of November). That translates to nearly 8 million meals being provided to New Yorkers in need.
This record number is more than a million pounds of food ahead of where donations were last year at this time and, with a month to go, the number is expected to climb. In addition, the New York Farm Bureau young farmers committee handed over a $250 donation to the Food Bank Association of NYS.
The announcement was in conjunction with the start of New York Farm Bureau's 2014 state annual meeting in Rochester. 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 Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state. In New York, NYFB's young farmers committee and the Food Bank Association of New York State administer the statewide donation partnership. The food is then distributed among the 10 Feeding America food banks throughout the state.
"Farmers are a generous bunch, evident by the incredible donations made throughout the year as part of the Feeding America program," said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president. "New York Farm Bureau understands the needs that exist in our communities, and it is important that we work together to make sure everyone has access to healthy, safe food, including when times are tough. I would like to thank both the farmers and the regional food banks for the outstanding jobs that they do everyday, and New York Farm Bureau looks forward to continuing this valuable partnership."
"To truly make a positive impact on hunger, we need to make sure the food distributed to those in need is as healthy as possible," said Julia Tedesco, co-executive director at Foodlink. "As a food bank, we are distributing more pounds of fresh, local produce than ever before, and that would not be possible without the generous partnerships of the local agricultural community."
"In 2013, the 'Harvest for All' program celebrated its 10th anniversary in our state by being the most successful donation year in its history," said Sharon M. Smith, executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York. "With the year-end totals tallied, the 'Harvest for All' donations from New York farmers reached nearly 9.3 million pounds of nutritious farm products, including milk, yogurt, produce, meat, etc., to New York state food banks. This year, we have already exceeded that amount with nearly 9.6 million pounds of produce and farm products donated by New York state farmers. We are incredibly grateful for this record-setting effort to put 7.9 million meals on tables of struggling New Yorkers."
"The young farmers committee is proud to be a longtime supporter of the 'Harvest for All' program," said Nicole Rawleigh, New York Farm Bureau young farmers committee chair. "Farmers are in the business of feeding of people, and the donations are wonderful examples of their giving spirit. We are happy to be a part of today's announcement, which also shines a light on the wonderful work of Foodlink and its partner organizations across this state."
New York Farm Bureau is the state's largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as "The Voice of New York Agriculture." New York Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community. For more information, visit www.nyfb.org.
The Food Bank Association of New York State is a statewide not-for-profit charity working on behalf of the Feeding America food banks locate in New York. In 2010, the food bank network in New York distributed well over 165 million pounds of food to nearly 3 million people through 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. The association is headquartered in Albany. For more, visit www.foodbankassocnys.org.