U. S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased food insecurity in the state. People across the state wait in line to get food from local food banks and pantries.
On the production side, she says a lack of orders from restaurants, schools and event spaces have left farmers with food they cannot get rid of.
To bridge the supply and demand gap, Gillibrand is proposing the U.S. Department of Agriculture use fruits and vegetables grown in New York for its new food purchase and distribution program.
“Here in New York, our farmers are top producers of fruits and vegetables like apples, cabbage, onions, snap peas and grapes,” she said. “Adding these nutritious options include produce from New York farmers to new food purchase and distribution programs will strengthen our diets, our farms, our food systems and our economy at the same time.”
The current Farmers to Families Food Box program runs out in April. No word yet on how long this program will last.