News & Events
A Strong Nutrition Program to Help Hardworking American Families
January 09, 2014
Release No. 0004.14
USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623
FACT SHEET: A Strong Nutrition Program to Help Hardworking American Families
This week, Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon and Anne Alonzo, Administrator for the Agricultural Marketing Service joined George Jones, CEO of Bread for the City to highlight the need for a new Farm Bill that adequately invests in America’s nutrition safety net. Food assistance programs, along with the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, provide a critical means to provide healthy food for Americans who are working hard but struggling to fill their plate.
Even as our economy recovers and private-sector jobs are added, food security remains a serious problem across the nation. Last year, more than 49 million Americans lived in households that had difficulty putting food on the table.
To help families put healthy food on the table, USDA provides a modern and effective nutrition safety net.
- Over the past year, USDA has helped millions of Americans through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). More than half of SNAP recipients are children and the elderly, and only 8% receive cash welfare.
- At the same time, our efforts to crack down on fraud and abuse while modernizing the SNAP program have led to one of the lowest error rates in history for the program, and a fraud rate of 1.3%.
- We undertook historic improvements to the range of healthy food offered in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The program now includes more whole grains, fruits and vegetables – the first comprehensive changes to the WIC program in 30 years – based on expert scientific recommendations.
We’ve modernized the school breakfast and lunch programs to be sure kids are getting the nutrition they need during the school day.
- Every day, 31 million children eat school lunch – and about 13 million of them eat school breakfast. For too many kids, these programs are the only dependable means to get a good meal during the day.
- USDA helped lead the effort to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, historic legislation that provided the first real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs in three decades.
- The modern school lunch and breakfast programs provide more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy while reducing fat, sodium and sugar. The reforms also provide school districts with added flexibility to provide healthier school meals.
We’ve helped America’s food banks and food pantries reduce shortages by providing nutritious food for those in need.
- Just this week, to help support food banks and pantries, USDA purchased 155.6 million pounds of healthy, high quality, domestically-grown fruits and vegetables to be donated through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
- Last year, the program resulted in more than 640 million pounds of extra food in food banks across the nation and added $498 million to the farm economy.
As the recovery continues, no American should be left out when it comes to putting a healthy meal on their table, or providing good food for their children. USDA will continue its focus on providing a modern, sensible and reliable nutrition safety net that puts families first – but to get the job done, Congress must provide a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible that adequately invests in these critical nutrition assistance programs.
Governor Cuomo Launches Anti-Hunger Task Force
January 02, 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of the New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force, which will bring together experts, advocates and state and local officials to develop and implement action-focused recommendations to combat hunger and improve access to locally grown and produced fresh foods.
“The New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force will be a key resource and tool in our ongoing efforts to eliminate hunger in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “By bringing experts, officials and advocates to the same table, we can enhance the effectiveness of our fight against hunger by better coordinating the significant public and private resources already dedicated to this important issue. Hunger in New York is a long-term problem that cannot be solved in a matter of weeks, so this Task Force is the right step towards developing lasting solutions to increase access to food for those in need and build healthier and more prosperous communities. In the 21st century, it is simply intolerable that one million New York children are going to bed hungry and so many households are struggling to put food on the table. I thank the members of the Task Force for their dedication and service.”
Nearly 14% of New York households struggle with hunger, and at least 1 million New York children live in households that do not have regular and consistent access to food. Yet nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers who are eligible for food stamps do not receive them.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will develop strategies to:
- Maximize resources to fight hunger in New York State by increasing participation in federally funded programs like SNAP, school breakfast and school lunch;
- Use public/private partnerships to increase outreach and leverage the power of government, businesses and the non-profit sectors working together; and
- Improve access to quality, healthy food through the use of New York farm products and locally produced goods to combat hunger while creating jobs and supporting economic development.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will be chaired by Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of the Food Bank of New York City, and will include experts in hunger and nutrition, anti-hunger advocates, service providers, representatives of the agriculture industry, local government and education officials, representatives of the non-profit and private sectors, and members of the Governor’s Cabinet.
Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of Food Bank For New York City, said, “I thank Governor Cuomo for this appointment and for his leadership on this important issue. Since the Great Recession, hunger has reached unprecedented levels in our state and city. Recent cuts to the vital food resources the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides low-income New Yorkers makes this a time of particularly urgent need. In forming this Anti-Hunger Task Force, Governor Cuomo’s leadership will provide an excellent opportunity to meet this moment by marshalling our state’s resources to strengthen New York's response to hunger and shore up our safety net.”
Billy Shore, Share Our Strength Founder and CEO, said, “The Anti-Hunger Task Force is a critical step forward in making sure the children of New York State have healthy food every day. We stand ready to work with the Governor and others to give voice to our most vulnerable children, and to ensure that no kid goes hungry in New York.”
Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, said, “I am honored be participate in this vital task force. Governor Cuomo clearly understands that fighting hunger benefits all state residents by improving health, creating jobs, boosting education, reducing poverty, aiding local farmers, and increasing economic opportunity. Last year, Governor Cuomo made it easier for working families and seniors to access federal nutrition benefits by eliminating the wasteful and punitive system of finger imaging program applicants while implementing better ways to strength program integrity. I look forward to working with the task force to build upon that success through a multi-faceted public/private effort to fight hunger and improve nutrition statewide.”
Linda Bopp, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York, said, “Hunger is an unacceptable and preventable reality for countless New Yorkers. In fact, more than 17 percent of New Yorkers struggle to afford enough food every day. Governor Cuomo continues to show strategic leadership when it comes to understanding and taking the steps to alleviate hunger. The focused and coordinated efforts of his Anti-Hunger Task Force will move us all closer to our shared goal of no one going to bed hungry.”
Members of the New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force include:
- Margarette Purvis, President & CEO, Food Bank of New York City (chair)
- Richard Ball, Owner, Schoharie Valley Farms
- Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger
- Kathryn Boor, Dean, Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
- Linda Bopp, Executive Director, NYS Hunger Solutions
- Richard Buery, President & CEO, Children’s Aid Society
- Bill Cartier, President, Sysco Foods Albany
- Stephen Cook, Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center
- Patricia Daley-Jimenez, President, NY School Nutrition Association
- Ray Denniston, Co-Chair, Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Service (Farm to School)
- Kathleen Donahue, Vice President, NYSUT
- Maureen Donahue, Superintendent, Southwestern Central School District (Jamestown)
- Diane Eggert, Executive Director, Farmers Market Federation of New York
- Beth Finkel, Executive Director, AARP New York
- Kathy Goldman, Co-Director, Community Food Advocates
- Harvey Lawrence, President & CEO, Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center
- Mark Quandt, President, Food Bank Association of New York State
- Raul Russi, CEO, Acacia Network
- David Sutkowy, Commissioner, Onondaga County Department of Social Services
- James Rogers, President & CEO, Food Industry Alliance
- Laurie Tisch, President, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
- James Tomarken, Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Health
- Jeff Williams, Director of Public Policy, NY Farm Bureau
The Commissioners of Agriculture & Markets, Children & Family Services, Education, Temporary & Disability Assistance, and Health, as well as the Director of Farmers Markets at Empire State Development Corporation and the Director of the State Office for the Aging will also serve ex officio.
Under the Governor’s leadership, New York has taken significant steps in the past three years to extend food assistance to New Yorkers in need. In 2011, Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect program, which brings fresh, locally grown food to underserved communities. The FreshConnect program includes projects such as youth markets, delivery of products to low-income housing facilities and new initiatives at traditional farmers’ markets.
The Governor also ended the finger imaging requirement for food stamp applicants and recipients, simplifying the application process and removing a barrier to reducing hunger for children and adults.
In addition, Governor Cuomo recently announced nearly $5 million in funding from the Superstorm Sandy Social Services Block Grant to support continued food relief for Sandy victims and, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, announced a 15% funding increase for food banks and other emergency food programs.
Governor Cuomo Announces $4.5 Million in Emergency Food Assistance Grants for This Holiday Season
December 31, 2013
Grants Will Help 2,600 Emergency Food Providers Meet Needs of New Yorkers Impacted by Recent Federal Cuts to SNAP Benefits
Governor Encourages New Yorkers and Businesses to Donate or Volunteer at a Local Food Bank This Holiday Season
Albany, NY (November 25, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4.5 million in grants to help 2,600 emergency food providers throughout New York State respond to an increased need for food assistance following the recent reduction in federal SNAP benefits that has impacted 3.1 million New Yorkers. The Governor today also encouraged New Yorkers and businesses to donate food or volunteer at a local food bank this holiday season.
“With the holiday season upon us, New York State is stepping up to help food banks and soup kitchens across the state stock their shelves and feed those in need,” Governor Cuomo said. “These state grants are aimed at filling the gap caused by the recent cuts in federal SNAP benefits and provide a boost to vital food assistance programs, to help provide relief to impacted New Yorkers. This time of year is also about celebrating the spirit of giving, so I encourage all New Yorkers to join our efforts by donating food or volunteering their time at local food banks and soup kitchens. A little can go a long way, and I encourage all who can to help those less fortunate this year.”
Overall, the number of emergency meals reported for 2013 is trending at approximately 13 percent more than the same time last year, according to data provided to the State’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program. Recent federal cuts to the SNAP program will eliminate a total of $302 million of annual SNAP benefits in New York. This year’s increased demand for emergency food has resulted in emergency food providers struggling to keep their shelves full.
The $4.5 million in grants represent a 15% increase in the State’s funding to food banks and can provide approximately 2.8 million meals. These grants will provide food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries with the immediate resources they need to feed those seeking assistance this holiday season.
The grants are being distributed to the following 46 organizations that serve 2,600 emergency food providers across the state:
- United Way of New York City (New York City): $831,462
- Food Bank for New York City (New York City): $550,946
- Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York (New York City): $22,676
- Church of the Holy Apostles (New York City): $22,676
- City Harvest (New York City): $45,243
- Coalition for the Homeless (New York City): $22,676
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis (New York City): $22,676
- God’s Love We Deliver (New York City): $22,676
- Just Food (New York City): $22,676
- Safe Horizon (New York City): $22,676
- The Momentum Project (New York City): $30,989
- Trinity's Services and Food for the Homeless, Inc. (New York City): $28,055
- Urban Pathways (New York City): $18,676
- West Side Center for Community Life/West Side Campaign Against Hunger (New York City): $52,911
- New York Common Pantry (New York City): $52,911
- Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (New York City): $22,676
- CAMBA, Inc. (New York City): $23,799
- Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services (New York City): $34,398
- Community Health Action of Staten Island, Inc. (New York City): $19,988
- New Direction Services, Inc. (New York City): $17,513
- Part of the Solution (New York City): $35,620
- Project Hospitality (New York City): $36,497
- St. John's Bread and Life (New York City): $35,060
- The Fortune Society, Inc. (New York City): $18,032
- United Bronx Parents, Inc. (New York City): $22,676
- CACHE, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $28,629
- The Food Bank for Westchester, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $171,974
- Island Harvest (Long Island): $29,405
- Long Island Cares, Inc. (Long Island): $245,392
- Food Bank of Central New York (Central New York): $382,722
- Food Bank of the Southern Tier (Southern Tier): $182,285
- Delaware Opportunities, Inc. (Southern Tier): $17,793
- Food Bank of Western New York (Western New York): $318,258
- Cattaraugus Community Action (Western New York): $17,448
- Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc. (Western New York): $22,219
- Heart, Love & Soul, Inc. (Western New York): $20,519
- FOODLINK (Finger Lakes): $289,353
- Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Inc. (Capital Region): $544,293
- Capital District Community Gardens (Capital Region): $36,276
- Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region, Inc. (Capital Region): $17,146
- FOCUS Churches of Albany (Capital Region): $15,395
- Food Bank Association of New York State (Capital Region): $22,676
- Schenectady Inner City Ministry (Capital Region): $38,082
- Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. (Capital Region): $22,676
- Warren-Hamilton Counties ACEO, Inc. (Capital Region): $18,593
- JCEO (North Country): $22,676
Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Chair of the Food Bank Association of New York State, said, “This additional funding from New York State will go a long way toward putting food on the tables of hungry New Yorkers this holiday season. The federal government’s cuts to SNAP benefits have impacted vulnerable individuals in every community and impacted food banks all across the state, which makes Governor Cuomo’s support all the more important. I thank the Governor for his support of New York’s food banks and the many families that they serve.”
Margarette Purvis, President & CEO, Food Bank of New York City, said, “As a result of cuts to federal SNAP benefits, low-income New Yorkers are struggling across the state to feed themselves and their families. Thankfully, Governor Cuomo is stepping in with funding to help us bridge the gap and feed some of the most vulnerable populations in our communities. The importance of this support cannot be overstated, and with the holidays quickly approaching, I encourage New Yorkers to help their neighbors in need.”
This holiday season, Governor Cuomo also encourages New Yorkers and businesses to help meet the increased demand for emergency food by donating or volunteering at their local food pantry or church, which are supported in large part by private donations. New Yorkers can visit the following websites or call one of the eight regional food banks for more information about making a donation in their community if they cannot find a location nearby:
- Food Bank of Western New York (located in Buffalo), www.foodbankwny.org, 716-852-1305 Foodlink (located in Rochester), foodlinkny.org, 585-328-3380
- Food Bank of the Southern Tier (located in Elmira), www.foodbankst.org, 607-796-6061
- Food Bank of Central New York (located in Syracuse), www.foodbankcny.org, 315-437-1899
- Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (located in Latham with a satellite facility, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, at Cornwall-on-Hudson), regionalfoodbank.net, 518-786-3691
- Food Bank For Westchester (located in Elmsford), www.foodbankforwestchester.org, 914-923-1100
- Food Bank For New York City, www.foodbanknyc.org, 212-566-7855
- Long Island Cares, Inc./The Harry Chapin Food Bank (located in Hauppauge), www.licares.org, 631-582-3663
Items in highest demand by emergency food providers include:
- canned meat (chicken, turkey, tuna fish, canned chili with beans) – lower sodium versions preferred;
- peanut butter and lower sodium canned beans (particularly kidney and pinto, due to the high protein content);
- canned vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, white and sweet potatoes) – lower sodium versions preferred;
- canned fruit (peaches, apricots, oranges) packed in fruit juice;
- shelf stable 1% or fat free fluid milk (UHT box pack);
- canned pasta meals containing 7 or more grams of protein per serving (i.e. spaghetti-meatballs) – lower sodium versions preferred;
- cereal containing 3 or more grams of fiber per serving;
- pasta – whole wheat and whole grain varieties appreciated; and
- rice and instant brown rice
Under the Governor’s leadership, New York has taken significant steps in the past three years to extend food assistance to New Yorkers in need. In 2011, Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect program, which brings fresh, locally grown food to underserved communities. The FreshConnect program includes projects such as youth markets, delivery of products to low-income housing facilities and new initiatives at traditional farmers’ markets.
The Governor also ended the finger imaging requirement for SNAP benefit applicants and recipients, simplifying the application process and removing a barrier to reducing hunger for children and adults.
Gov Cuomo Assists Food Banks
November 23, 2011
GOVERNOR CUOMO LAUNCHES "HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR" INITIATIVE TO URGE BUSINESSES AND NEW YORKERS TO GIVE TO FOOD BANKS
Governor Announces Over $1.5 Million in Grants for New York Food Banks and Flood Relief
Initiative Part of "NYGives" Campaign to Encourage Charitable Giving Throughout Holiday Season
Food bank funds will be allocated as follows:
· Food Bank of Western New York (located in Buffalo) - $121,000
· Foodlink (located in Rochester) - $107,000
· Food Bank of the Southern Tier (located in Elmira) - $59,000
· Food Bank of Central New York (located in Syracuse) - $147,000
· Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (located in Albany area) - $200,000
· Food Bank For Westchester - $64,000
· Food Bank For New York City - $199,000
· Long Island Cares, Inc./The Harry Chapin Food Bank - $103,000
In areas hit hard by the past storms and flooding, the Governor has directed $620,000 to emergency food relief organizations to ensure New Yorkers in these communities are able to put food on the table. The money is from the General Fund Local Assistance appropriation for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program in the 2011-12 Budget.
The funds will be divided as follows:
Broome County Council of Churches (Broome County): $60,000
Delaware Opportunities, Inc. (Delaware County): $60,000
Grace Episcopal Church (Orange County): $60,000
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County: $60,000
CACHE, Inc. (Sullivan County): $60,000
Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless: $60,000
Regional Food Bank of Southern Tier (Chemung County): $80,000
Regional Food Bank of Central NY (Onondaga County): $80,000
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY (Albany County): $100,000
Full Press release: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/11232011foodbank
Food Bank Assoc New Board Officers
January 01, 2011
2011-12 Officers elected by Association's Board of Directors
Albany, NY (January 3, 2011) - The Food Bank Association of New York State, representing the eight Feeding America (The Nation’s Food Bank Network)™ food banks located in New York State announces the newly elected board officers for 2011-2012. Elected at the Association’s Annual Meeting in December 2010, the Officers are as follows:
President – Mark Quandt, the Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (Latham, NY)
Treasurer – Marylou Borowiak, the President/CEO of the Food Bank of Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
Secretary – Paule Pachter, ACSW, LMSW, the Executive Director of Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank (Hauppauge, NY)
Mr. Mark Quandt has led the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York since 1984. He had previously served as the Association’s Treasurer for over 10 years and is one of the most senior food bank executive directors in the United States. The Regional Food Bank covers 23 upstate and Hudson Valley counties providing food and assistance to over 1,000 feeding programs stretching from the Canadian border to Rockland County.
Ms. Marylou Borowiak has led the Food Bank of Western New York since 2008. Prior to serving as President/CEO of the food bank she had served as a member of the Board of Directors of the food bank from 1996 to 2007 and as Chair from 2005 to 2007. Immediately prior to her appointment as CEO of the food bank she was Executive Vice President, Chief Banking Officer at Greater Buffalo Savings Bank. Her food bank covers the counties of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus, serving over 360 programs.
Mr. Paule Pachter has led Long Island Cares since 2008. Prior to being appointed executive director of LI Cares, Mr. Pachter served in numerous leadership positions on Long Island including Deputy Executive Director of Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services; Deputy Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; and, Director of Program Services for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Long Island Association (LIA). His food bank serves over 560 community agencies.
Wal-Mart Foundation Awards NYS Food Banks Major Food Grant
December 12, 2010
Donation will help eight regional food banks, hundreds of emergency feeding programs, thousands of people during Holdiay season and beyond.
Albany, NY – The Food Bank Association of New York State today announced that it has received $219,036 from the Wal-Mart Foundation as part of an on-going partnership between Wal-Mart and the Food Bank Association of New York State. Under this grant funds will be used to supply food to the neediest and hardest hit emergency feeding programs as identified by both the food banks and the state association.
The Food Bank network - which serves close to 3 million New York State residents and 5,000 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters - estimates that economies of scale enable them to transform every $1 in aid to between $10 to $12 worth of food. As a result, this Wal-Mart grant has the potential to supply more than $2.5 million worth of food to the people in New York State who need it most.
Food Bank Association Executive Director John Evers has worked with Wal-Mart over the past three years in establishing a closer relationship between the food banks and Wal-Mart. In addition to this most recent award, Wal-Mart worked with the Association in 2007-8 to provide emergency food grants at a time when the recession was just taking hold in New York State. “This generous grant from Wal-Mart will provide new support for hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters as we enter both Christmas and News Years.” In addition to the grant program, Wal-Mart hosted can food drives throughout New York State and has established store giving programs under which perishables, produce, and other fresh foods are donated to the food banks or directly to food bank-sponsored emergency feeding programs.
The grant was made possible by the Wal-Mart Foundation New York State Giving Program, which awards grants at the state and regional levels to support unmet needs.
New York #1 Again in Farm Donations
October 20, 2010
NY Farm Bureau leads all states in donations to the hungry
Presentation held at Onondaga County Farm Bureau Meeting
(Syracuse, NY) For the third year in a row the NY Farm Bureau, thanks to the efforts of its Young Farmers & Ranchers, once again places first in the nation in donations of food donated from farmers to food banks. In 2009 NY farmers donated over 3.65 million pounds of food to the food bank network under the Harvest For All program. The $2,000 first place prize was donated back to the Association to assist in the 2010 food drive. The check was presented to the Association by the President of the Onondaga Farm Bureau at its October 20th annual meeting. The Onondaga Farm Bureau has long been a leader in donating farm product to the Food Bank of Central New York. In 2009 the region donated in excess of 300,000 pounds to the hungry. The 2010 Harvest For All food drive culminates on December 6, 2010 at the Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting on Long Island.
Sodexho Foundation Aids Food Banks
September 10, 2010
More apples and potatoes thanks to Sodexho
(Albany, NY) The SODEXHO foundation grants the Food Bank Association of New York State $1,000 for support of its fall agricultural outreach project. Over the last two years the Food Bank Association has undertaken outreach with both the apple and potato growers’ community and its trade associations to increase the amount of donated product from apple growers and potato farmers to the food bank network. The project has resulted in numerous farmers and several packers donating product to the food banks in eastern New York State. Last year, and again this fall, several apple farmers have donated their unmarketable yet still edible product to several food banks thanks to this project. The grant enables the Association to continue this outreach and secure more truckloads of product for several food banks. In some cases, the apples are processed in bags of five pounds or in boxes to make distribution to agency programs easier. To date several truckloads of apples have been shared between the food banks in Latham, Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York City, and Hauppauge.
SEFCU Assists NYS Food Banks
August 30, 2010
Donations by the truckload made easier thanks to SEFCU
Partnership links truckers-food manufacturers-food banks
(Albany, NY). The State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU) designs and prints donation cards for truckers and industries seeking to donate to the food banks. SEFCU, in an effort to help food banks across the state increase the number of truckloads of food being donated to the hungry, designed and printed cards for distribution to New York State’s food manufacturers, wholesalers, trucking companies, and supermarkets. The cards were then distributed by the NY Motor Truck Association to its membership as an added benefit to trucking community. The cards provide truckers with a map of the state with major highways and cities set against a color coded map of the food bank regions. The map and corresponding contact information for each food bank makes it easier for truckers with extra product to find a food bank at a moments notice. Oftentimes truckers must find a charitable institution to which they can donate excess product before their next pick-up or delivery. This partnership between truckers/food companies and food banks insures food is not wasted and it is donated to the food banks for distribution to regional food banks. Food that may otherwise be wasted or is a liability to the food manufacturing and transportation industries can be donated by generous companies to assist millions of New York’s hungry. For more information on this project please check back on November 5, 2010 when the “truckers” link on the Association's home page will be launched.
State Employees Lend a Hand in Battling Hunger
August 06, 2010
Volunteers from Office of Audit & Control Help Battle Hunger
(Albany, NY.) Staff of the Office of the New York State Comptroller from the Capital Region, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, New York City, and Long Island held a ceremony to announce the results of their summer food and fund drive to support the state food bank network. Over 1,513 pounds of food and $1,706 were donated in total. On August 6th staff of the Comptroller’s Office gathered in their downtown Albany office to present the food and funds to John Evers, the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of NYS. The goal of the drive was to both raise awareness of hunger in New York State and ask employees to donate healthy and nutritious foods. Monetary donations were also accepted. The food and fund drive involved employees from every region of the state. The food and funds collected were donated to local food banks to assist in the on-going and rapidly expanding battle to fight hunger in New York State. Over the past two years many food banks have seen the amount of food distributed through food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters around the state increase by 25% - some as high as double previous year's levels of food distributed. To keep pace with the demand, food banks are seeking new ways to raise more funds and food to support the almost 3 million people coming to their programs. The group of volunteers at the Albany offices of the NYS State Comptroller, who undertook this statewide drive, regularly volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham where they sort and pack food for agencies dependent on the food bank.
Food Banks Deserve Funding
April 01, 2010
Letter to Editor - Albany Times Union (April 1, 2010)
Everyone knows that New York is nearly broke, thus making budget deliberations that much more difficult. However, one recent proposal by the Assembly seems a little out of place.
The resolution passed last week eliminated a $10 million program designed to help regional food banks. This infusion of federal dollars under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program would enable food banks across the state to supply food to more than 2,500 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters at a time when demand has risen astronomically.
Since the food banks feed more than 2.26 million people statewide a year, the $10 million equates to $4 a person in emergency aid under this one-time program. As the state's budget negotiating process continues, let's hope that alleviating hunger remains a priority for New York lawmakers and this elimination is reversed when the final budget is approved.
John T. Evers
Executive Director - Food Bank Association of NYS
Easter Comes Early for Food Banks
March 24, 2010
United Egg Producers Donate to State food banks
Food banks all across New York State from Buffalo to Long Island were graced with a wonderful donation - spring eggs. The United Egg Producers (UEP) and local egg farmers - particularly Kreher Farms in the Buffalo and Rochester areas - donated over 144,000 pounds of fresh eggs. The donation comes just before easter. From March 24th through early April local egg farmers shipped thousands of dozens of eggs to local food banks, where in turn they were distributed to the over 2,500 emergency feeding programs dependent on the food banks. This is the third year in a row that the Food Bank Association of New York State partnered with the UEP in coordinating a spring egg donation event. With eggs being such an excellent source of protien and vitamins the food banks were pleased to receive such strong and generous support form the UEP and local farmers.
NY Farm Bureau Donates 3.75 Million Pounds
December 07, 2009
NY Farm Bureau Leads Produce Donation Effort
Dec 7 - Rochester. For the fifth straight year the NY Farm Bureau and thousands of farmers from all across New York State donated fresh produce and locally produced food products to the regional food banks. The total reached nearly 4 million pounds. The annual donation event, Harvest For All, was celebrated with a press conference and public "thanks" from the staff and leaders of the local food bank, Foodlink (Rochester). The year long event gathered millions of pounds of New York grown products such as eggs, apples, milk, corn, onions, and other farm products. The effort was spearheaded by the NY Farm Bureau's Young Farmers & Ranchers. Once again the NY Farm Bureau finished #1 of all 50 state farm bureaus in donations to the hungry!!
Walmart Grant Totals - Over 1.2 Million Meals!!
September 01, 2009
Albany, NY - The Food Bank Association of New York State announces today the total number of meals secured under the Walmart State Foundation Grant of 2008-2009. The Walmart State Foundation for New York State covers the period covering July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.
The funding of $445,000 made from Walmart to the Association enabled the 8 regional food banks to secure more food for emergency feeding programs. Overall 1,593,624 pounds were supplied to 904 programs equating to an estimated 1,245,015 meals. A meal factor of 1.28 pounds equates to 1 meal was utilized. The money granted to agencies for food at the banks was sorely needed and allowed agencies to purchase hard-to-obtain items such as fresh meats, high protein items, nutrient rich foods, fruits and vegetables, and, on occasion, food preparation items such as cooking oil, cleaning materials, and hygiene products.
State Totals - Walmart
New York City
United Egg Producer - Easter Donations
April 12, 2009
KREHER’S FARM FRESH EGGS DONATES EGGS TO 10 NEW YORK STATE FOOD BANKS
America’s Farmers to Donate 12 Million Eggs to Feeding America This Easter
(ALBANY, NY) March 27, 2009 and April 12, 2009 - Easter is starting early at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York with a special donation of more than 75,000 eggs from Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs. Likewise, all across New York State, food banks are receiving truckloads of eggs from New York State egg producers.
For the second year in a row, United Egg Producers and Feeding America– The Nation's Food Bank Network are teaming up with local egg producers and food banks to feed the nation’s hungry. Egg farmers from across the country will be donating 12 million eggs to help make sure America’s food banks are well stocked with nutrient-dense eggs. The partnership here in New York provided four trailer loads of eggs to the state’s food banks. New York's program was coordinated by the Food Bank Association of New York State.
"This wonderful donation could not come at a better time as the Food Banks are seeing increases in need for food assistance anywhere from 20 to 100 percent at our member agencies”, said John Evers, the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York State. “It would be impossible for us to meet the growing need without the continued support of our friends in the food industry, like Kreher’s.”
“Our family has been serving the Albany community for several generations and we are proud to offer our help and support when our community needs it more than ever," said Scott Kreher of Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs, who also provided eggs that went to the other upstate and downstate food banks. “United Egg Producers is dedicated to helping those less fortunate,” said Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers. “Our hope is that this donation makes a significant difference in the lives of many people who live at risk of hunger, especially during the Easter holiday.”
New York State Increases Hunger Aid
March 29, 2009
State aid for hunger prevention increased by $4.4 million
Albany (March 29, 2009) - Governor Paterson and the NYS Legislature agreed to increase the Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) and fund anti-obesity measures in the 2009-2010 New York State Budget. The ienacted budget increases HPNAP by $4.4 million above the level enacted last year. It raises HPNAP to $30.9 million overall. This aid will go to food banks and other emergency and public nutrition programs. The food banks praised the Governor and the Legislature for this solid effort to attack hunger head on. In Januray the Governor also granted an additional $1 million for food banks at a time when food banks reported an increase of almost 35% at local food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency programs. The Governors press release is attached: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0329094.html
Gov Adds $1 million to Food Banks
January 02, 2009
GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES INCREASED EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS HAVE ACCESS TO FOOD
Authorizes $1 Million in Emergency Funding For Food Banks Across New York
(Albany) January 2, 2009 - Governor David A. Paterson today announced that New York State is taking further steps toward assisting the State’s most vulnerable residents by authorizing a one-time, $1 million emergency increase in funding for regional food banks across New York. While visiting the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham, Governor Paterson also announced that New York has received an additional $364 million in federal funding for the State’s Food Stamp Program over the last 15 months.
As more New Yorkers are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, it is critical to ensure that the most vulnerable residents have sufficient access to food and nutritional supports. The State is seeing an increase in food stamp applications from populations that have not traditionally had high enrollment rates, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities, families with children, head of household college students and the unemployed. Governor Paterson highlighted that, due to changes implemented in the State’s Food Stamp Program over the past year, eligible low-income working families are offered greater access to food stamp benefits. Subsequently, enrollment in the State’s Food Stamp Program reached a statewide all-time high in November with 1.13 million households – consisting of 2.1 million individuals – receiving benefits. This represents an increase of 300,000 individuals from last year.
“As a result of the national recession, hunger prevention agencies in New York State are experiencing an unprecedented increase in requests for nutrition assistance, particularly from individuals and families that have never before needed such assistance,” said Governor Paterson. “This increased funding for food banks and additional federal funding for food stamps announced today are essential to ensure that the nutritional and dietary needs of New York’s most vulnerable residents are met. By contributing to the overall health and well-being of society during this recession, we can also help generate increased activity in our State and national economy, placing New York on a path towards economic recovery.”
The emergency $1 million for food banks for the current fiscal year is in addition to an authorization of $1 million for food banks announced in October of last year. Combined with today’s announcement, one-time emergency funding for New York’s food banks for this fiscal year is $2 million. The emergency funding for the current fiscal year is in addition to the $30.9 million in funding for food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, and emergency shelters proposed as part of Governor Paterson’s 2009-2010 Executive Budget – an increase of $4.4 million over last year’s expenditures.
John Evers, Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York State, said: “Demand for food at emergency feeding programs in 2008 reached some of the highest levels in decades, a trend that food banks know will continue in 2009. Thankfully Governor Paterson continues to champion the hunger prevention and public nutrition role of the food banks. By providing an additional $1 million in food bank aid today, and proposing an increase in hunger prevention aid of $4.4 million in next year’s State budget, Governor Paterson is insuring that, even in extremely difficult financial times, no one in our State should be hungry and no one should be without nutritious food. We can’t thank Governor Paterson enough for his on-going support in our battle against hunger.”
Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, said: “We are very grateful to Governor Paterson for the $1 million emergency increase in funding for the State’s food banks and the food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters we serve. It will help us tremendously in our efforts to feed the rapidly increasing number of people in need in our State during this difficult economic period.”
DOH administers contracts with eight Regional Food Banks and the United Way of New York City to distribute food to community-based organizations that make this food available to those in need. Agencies that receive funding for emergency food distribution in New York State include: the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham, the Food Bank of Central New York in East Syracuse, FoodLink Inc. in Rochester, the Food Bank of Western New York in Buffalo, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier in Elmira, the Food Bank for Westchester in Millwood, Long Island Cares Inc. in Hauppauge, the Food Bank for New York City, and United Way of New York City.
KREHER FARMS - DONATES TO 5 FOOD BANKS
December 18, 2008
FARM FRESH EGGS DONATED TO LOCAL FOOD BANKS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK
CLARENCE, NY (December 12, 2008) — This holiday season Kreher's Farm Fresh Eggs is giving back to the community they have served for more than 84 years by donating more than 216,000 eggs to local food banks throughout New York State. Beginning December 15, the third generation, family-owned business has coordinated with the Food Bank Association of New York State to deliver truckloads of fresh eggs to six food banks located in Albany, Buffalo, East Syracuse, Elmira, Rochester and Westchester.
"We know how hard the economy is hitting the American family and for those struggling to make ends meet it is all the more challenging during the holidays,” said Scott Kreher, one of seven 3rd generation owners of Kreher's Farm Fresh Eggs. “At this time of year especially, every family needs to have a wholesome meal on their table and with the help of the Food Bank Association of New York State we hope to bring solid nutrition to as many families as we can.”
Started by Scott's grandparents in 1924, Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs employs more than 120 full-time and 60 part-time employees between two farms. Kreher’s is an Eggland’s Best producer and one of the largest organic crop farms in New York State. With each egg containing 13 essential nutrients – including the highest quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc – the company will be providing much needed protein to hundreds of needy families during the holiday season.
"It is a difficult task to tackle hunger in normal economic conditions, but in periods of high food inflation and a strained economy, we have seen thousands of additional people depending on community food pantries and other emergency feeding program throughout the state,” said John T. Evers, executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York State.
“We will always need the assistance of local donors such as Kreher Farms. With more people turning to food banks in this time of economic upheaval – particularly during the upcoming holiday season - the generosity of Kreher Farms couldn’t come at a better time,” stated Evers.“Kreher’s has stepped up to the plate and provided significant assistance to the upstate New York food banks and we can’t thank them enough for their generosity and concern for the hungry."
Farm-Food Bank Donation Event Huge Success
December 09, 2008
4 million projected by end of year
ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 9, 2008) – When New York Farm Bureau members traveled to Albany today for the State Annual Meeting they didn’t come empty-handed. Members and supporting food companies kicked off the State Annual Meeting with food donations to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Today’s donations bring the year long total of food donated by farmers across the state to more than 3.5 million pounds. With a few weeks left in the year, it is expected that farmer donations will exceed last year’s record of 3.7 million pounds.
Food is collected through the “Harvest For All” donation program. “Harvest For All” is a nationwide annual farm donation event linking the Farm Bureau and America’s Second Harvest: The Nations Food Bank Network in each state.
In New York, the NYFB’s Young Farmers & Ranchers and the Food Bank Association of New York State administered the statewide donation partnership. Under the project, NYFB members donated excess farm products to the 10 New York State America’s Second Harvest food banks located across the state.
John Evers, the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York stated, “With the amount of food donations dwindling, a national economic downturn, and food inflation hitting record highs, the generosity of New York’s farmers and the Farm Bureau couldn’t come at a better time. The incredible amount of produce and farm products donated by local farms provided millions of wholesome, nutritious meals to hungry New York State residents.”
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “Now more than ever, food pantries and soup kitchens are being called on by families seeking assistance, some for the first time. During this season of giving, I am extremely pleased, once again, by the outpouring of support and generosity the farm community has shown for those in need. The more than 3.5 million pounds of fresh and healthy food collected through the New York Farm Bureau will be well served at the Food Bank and the thousands of families they reach daily.”
"In times like these, our farmers are more determined than ever to do all we can to help feed the needy across the state," said John Lincoln, president of New York Farm Bureau.
"We are proud to once again do our part to deliver food to the state's food banks and help eliminate hunger," said Brian Ziehm, a dairy farmer from Easton, N.Y. and a New York Farm Bureau board member.
New York Farm Bureau is the statewide lobbying/trade organization that represents thousands of farm families. 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. www.nyfb.org
Thanks Wal-Mart -
November 03, 2008
Other companies should follow Wal-Mart’s lead
New York State, and Western New York in particular, is experiencing a tremendous increase in the number of people depending on community food pantries and other emergency feeding programs. Correspondingly, the food bank network is facing one of the most difficult periods in its 30-year history. Pantries are requesting more food, soup kitchen lines are longer, and an increasingly higher number of people are turning to emergency feeding programs for help — many for the first time in their lives.
The added demand is stretching the resources of the eight regional food banks to the limit. Since almost 3 million people at more than 5,000 programs depend on the food banks we have no recourse but to find more food. Here in Western New York, the food bank reports that the demand for food at emergency feeding sites has increased by 11 percent in the span of only 1 year. And keep in mind that over 40 percent of those who depend on food bank-sponsored programs are children.
It is a difficult task to tackle hunger in normal times but, in periods of high food inflation, a struggling economy, and when thousands of additional people turn to us, the task becomes almost Herculean. Winter will exacerbate this problem, as will high heating costs. Some unfortunate people may be forced to decide between food and heat; others between rent and food.
In light of all these difficulties, one word has given us great hope and a cause to express thanks: Wal-Mart. On Oct. 21, in an effort to bolster food supplies to the most needy, the Wal- Mart State Giving program launched its statewide program Feeding New York here in Buffalo.
Under this program, $577,000 was allocated through the Food Bank Association of New York State to enable the eight regional food banks to buy more food for distribution to thousands of emergency feeding programs and the millions of New York State residents who are facing hunger. Locally, the grant equates to $65,000 for emergency feeding programs operated by the Food Bank of Western New York.
Additionally, Wal-Mart donated a tractor trailer of food to the food bank’s Buffalo warehouse, and Wal-Mart will conduct a food drive on Nov. 22-23 in each of its 10 local stores to benefit the local food bank — just in time for Thanksgiving. Because the Food Bank Association estimates that for every $1 donated, between $10-$12 worth of food can be distributed to the hungry, this grant has the potential to provide more than $6 million worth of food to the most needy in New York.
In trying and difficult times the food banks, particularly the Food Bank of Western New York, have been there to help alleviate hunger, and we always will be there, but we always will need the assistance of generous donors such as Wal-Mart. We hope other companies will follow Wal-Mart’s lead and help the state’s food banks alleviate the growing problem of hunger.
John T. Evers is executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York State. Originally published in the Buffalo News on 11-3-8.
Wal-Mart Grant to Food Banks
October 21, 2008
Donation is Part of Larger Campaign to Battle Hunger in New York and Support State’s Eight Regional Food Banks
BUFFALO, New York, October 21, 2008 – The Food Bank Association of New York State today announced that it has received $577,000 from the Wal-Mart Foundation as part of a new partnership that will provide a much-needed infusion of funding, food and volunteerism to the eight regional food banks located across the state. The announcement was made at the Food Bank of Western New York’s Buffalo distribution headquarters which serves 204 emergency food providers across four counties.
The Food Bank Association - which serves more than two million New York State residents and 5,000 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters - estimates that economies of scale enable them to transform every $1 in aid to between $10 to $12 worth of food. As a result, this Wal-Mart grant has the potential to supply more than $6 million worth of food to the people in New York State who need it most.
“During these difficult economic times, more families than ever need assistance in the face of rising food prices, escalating energy costs, and increasing financial burden,” said New York State Governor David A. Paterson. “I commend Wal-Mart and the New York State Association of Food Banks for this collaborative effort in bringing forward a crucial and providential humanitarian mission, which will make a tangible difference in the lives of countless Empire State residents.”
Food Bank Association Executive Director John Evers accepted a ceremonial check from the retailer and welcome the first official delivery of a variety of canned goods such as soup, vegetables and fruits as well as cereal and rice to the Food Bank of Western New York. “Given the current economic climate, we are struggling to meet an ever-increasing demand for food across the state,” said Evers. “This generous grant from Wal-Mart will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to our food bank affiliates and hopefully raise awareness of this national hunger epidemic.”
o A cash grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation in the amount of $322,000 which will result in approximately $40,000 for each of the Food Bank Association’s eight affiliates. These dollars will allow each respective Food Bank to supply food to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. In Western New York these dollars will be used to provide and distribute food to more than 200 emergency providers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.
o An additional award of $25,000 to seven of the Food Bank Association’s eight affiliates in Buffalo, Rochester, Elmira, Syracuse, Albany, Millwood and Hauppauge.
o An $80,000 grant to the Food Bank for New York City for its “Go Orange” campaign, which raises awareness of hunger issues throughout the five boroughs. With this grant, the organization can provide over 400,000 pounds (more than 300,000 meals) of food to those in need during the holiday season.
oThe $577,000 was made possible by the Wal-Mart Foundation’s new State Giving Program (SGP), which awards grants at the state and regional levels to support unmet needs. To help facilitate this process, the Foundation created individual State Giving Advisory Councils made up of associates who represent a wide-range of internal business units.
“We wanted to tackle an issue facing the entire state of New York,” said Philip H. Serghini, Senior Manager, Public Affairs & Government Relations and also the coordinator of the New York State Advisory Council. “With too many state residents either at risk of hunger or currently living below the poverty level, we felt that Wal-Mart was uniquely positioned to answer the call and directly address this issue of hunger in New York.”
Governor Paterson Grants Special Food Bank Aid
October 16, 2008
New York City - In a special announcement regarding food stamp benefits Governor David Paterson revealed he was also adding $1 million in state aid to the eight regional food banks. This aid will greatly assist food banks as they approach the winter months. The aid is part of the Hunger Preventaion and Nutriation Assistance Program (HAPNAP) administered under the NYS Department of Health (DOH).
The President/CEO of the Food Bank For New York City, Dr. Lucy Cabrera, and the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of NYS, John Evers joined the Governor in making the announcement.
The full press release can be found on the Governor's home page:
Albany Slashes Food Bank Aid
August 20, 2008
Governor and Legislature Cut Food Assistance
Albany - August 20. In a special session to trim millions of dollars from the State budget and address a deficit, the Governor and Legislature reduced the Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Porgram (HPNAP) by 6%. The cut is equivalent to $1.273 million. The cut comes AFTER food banks had awarded this money in food and operating assistance to the over 2,500 emergency feeding programs that depend on HPNAP funding through the food banks.
Further, the cuts come after HNAP was reduced by 2% this April. HPNAP was cut from a base level of $28.34 million to $27.85 million for State fiscal year 2008-9. The August 2008 cuts further reduce HPNAP aid to localities to $26.58 million. Of this figure food banks only recieve about $16.6 million to support their food grants, operation support for emergecny programs, state mandates, and operations.
The food banks wrote to the Governor and Legislative Leaders before the cuts and meet with various staff members to explain why the cuts would be devastating. The Association also sent letters seeking a meeting with the Governor and his staff after the cuts were ratified. The food banks are working to insure that HPNAP, and thus the food banks, are not cut for the third time this fall when the 2009-2010 budget is compiled.
Food Bank Outreach at Empire Farm Days
August 06, 2008
Food Bank Outreach to Farmers at State Gathering
Seneca Falls, NY - The Food Bank Association and staff from local food banks undertook three days of outreach to farmers at Empire Farm Days in Western New York. The gathering in Seneca Falls (near the Finger Lakes) brought together over 70,000 farmers, venders, and vistors this year. The event is as one of the largest farms shows in New York State and the Northeast.
The Food Bank Association handed out flyers and met with hundreds of farmers in efforts to build on the great partnership the Association, the New York food banks, and farmers have establsihed over the past several years. The purpose of the outreach is to link farmers with their local food banks and ask them for their suprlus or excess produce and crops. The food is then collected by the 11 food banks and food rescue organizations and distributed to the over 5,000 feeding sites supported by the food banks.
Last year the efforts collected over 3.6 million pounds of product ranking New York State as the #1 state in farm donations to food banks. Efforts to expand the reach of the program will hopefully enlist more farmers who will, in turn, donate their suprlus to help food banks feed the hungry.
Food Banks and NY Farmers
July 11, 2008
Farmers Helping Food Banks
The success of the 2007 "Harvest For All" farm to food bank annual event was recounted in an article in this months Grassroots (NY Farm Bureau) newspaper. The article, written by Food Bank Association of New York State Executive Director John T. Evers, outlined last year's event and provided contact information for farmers wishing to donate to this year's event. In 2008 farmers donated over 3.67 million pounds to the New York food banks. The food banks are hoping to reach or exceed last year's figures in 2008. The "Harvest For All" event is an annual event under which donations from farmers to food banks are counted on a rolling basis. The totals are announced each December. This year's press event will be held at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham (near Albany). The full article can be accessed here: http://www.nyfb.org/Grassroots/GRoots08/Grassroots-July08-forweb.pdf
NY FARM BUREAU #1 IN FOOD DONATIONS
April 04, 2008
FARMERS DONATE RECORD AMOUNT OF
3.67 Million Pounds Donated to Food Bank; Most in the Nation
ALBANY-- The Food Bank Association of New York State today announced that New York Farm Bureau was the number one Farm Bureau in the nation in donated food last year, delivering 3.67 million pounds to Food Banks across the state. The food donations were part of the 2007 “Harvest For All” food donation partnership, a nationwide annual farm donation event linking the Farm Bureau and America’s Second Harvest: The Nations Food Bank Network in each state. Food donations of excess farm produce included (apples, peaches, potatoes, etc.).
“As farmers, we always remember that our number one job is to feed people,” said Brian Ziehm of New York Farm Bureau and a dairy farmer in Easton, N.Y. “When people are unable to afford food, we farmers will strive to do our best to step in and help.
“With the amount of food donations dwindling, a national economic downturn, and food inflation hitting record highs, the generosity of New York’s farmers and the Farm Bureau couldn’t come at a better time,” said John Evers, the Executive Director of the Food Bank Association. “The incredible amount of produce and farm products donated by local farms provided millions of wholesome, nutritious meals to hungry New York residents.”
“This event shows us that there is a way to increase the amount of produce flowing to New York’s emergency feeding programs though increased donations as well as opportunities for direct purchases of produce by food banks from local farmers,” Evers said. “Farmers enable us to fight hunger in the best way possible – with nutrition at its core.”
Joanne Dwyer from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York worked with farms to collect over 650,000 pounds of donated food for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham.
“These donations enabled local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters, to distribute fresh and nutritious fruit and vegetables to those most in need,” Dwyer said, “We are grateful to our local farmers and hope to build on this successful event in 2008.
The statewide farm donation totals, broken into each food bank region is below.
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (Latham)
Food Bank of Western New York (Buffalo)
Island Harvest (Mineola)
Food Bank For Westchester (Millwood)
Food Bank of Central New York (Syracuse)
Long Island Cares / The Harry Chapin Food Bank (Hauppauge)
Food Bank of the Southern Tier (Elmira)
City Harvest (New York City)
Food Bank For New York City
New York State Total
Food Banks Speak at Food Policy Council Hearing
February 14, 2008
Food Bank Association - Food Bank of Central NY Participate at Food Policy Council hearing
Syracuse, NY (Feb 13-14). The Food Bank Assocaition of New York State and the Food Bank of Central NY (Syracuse) hosted an informational booth at the NYS Fruit & Vegetable Expo on February 13-14 in downtown Syarcuse. The event afforded the food banks to provide New York State farmers and agricultural trade groups with information on the nutrition and fresh fruit and vegetable programs operated by the food banks.
The food banks in New York State distribute over 157 million pounds of food each year to almost 2.1 million people.
The Food Bank Assocaition is currently in the planning stages of exploring farm to food bank partnerships that would allow the food bank network to expand its distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Food Bank Assocaition is also exploring ways to partner with NYS farmers and fruit/vegetable processors to add shelf-life to purchased and donated produce.
This major undertaking will greatly enhance the food banks in their public nutrition and feeding mission while at the same time increasing market opportunities for farmers, provide new opportunities for processors, and add to the revitalization of upstate New York, specifically agri-industry.
The Food Bank of Central NY spoke at the February 14th meeting of the Food Policy Council; the Food Bank Association's Executive Director, John Evers, serves on the Council. On Feb 5th a representative of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY (Albany) also spoke at the Food Policy Council hearing (in Albany) on the agriculture impacts on food banking.
NYS Food Banks-Farm Bureau "Harvest For All" Donation Project a Huge Success
December 03, 2007
New York Farm Bureau-Food Bank Association of New York State Announce Statewide farm donation totals
Buffalo – December 3 - The Food Bank Association of New York State, the Food Bank of Western New York, and New York Farm Bureau are pleased to announce the results of this year’s Harvest For All farm donation event. The Harvest For All program is sponsored by America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network and is overseen in this state by the Food Bank Association of New York State. NYFB’s Young Farmers and Ranchers head up the program on behalf of the Farm Bureau.
The joint program seeks produce and other farm donations from New York State farmers. These food donations are collected by the 10 food banks located across the state. The food is then distributed to the more than 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other emergency feeding programs, feeding over 2 million people each year. The event totals are being announced as the NY Farm Bureau kicks-off its 2007 State Annual Meeting in Niagara Falls.
More than 3 million pounds were distributed and the Food Bank of WNY received the most with 1,227,387.
The program’s goal is to educate farmers, and the public at-large, of the importance in helping feed the hungry and the benefits of eating healthy and nutritious, locally grown New York State produce and dairy products. New York farmers serve as the backbone of the state’s economy and are the leading economic drivers in upstate New York. Agriculture ranks as one of New York State’s leading industries. The food donated helps the food banks across the state feed the thousands of people that look to emergency feeding programs for food each day. The generosity of New York farmers has helped the food banks insure the hungry of New York have enough to eat all year and is the highest total ever collected to date.
John Evers, Executive Director of the Food Bank Association stated, “Without the help of the New York Farm Bureau and their efforts in helping us solicit donations from their farmers this program would never be the success it is today. Harvest For All has enabled the New York food banks to collect millions of pounds of the freshest, most nutritious produce and dairy available – New York State products. 3 million pounds goes a long way in helping us feed the hungry, foster better nutrition, and improve public health. We are truly indebted to the generosity of the New York farmer”
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “The generosity of New York’s farm community is remarkable. Not only are they caretakers of the land, but their entire community as they load their trucks with thousands of pounds of fresh produce for those that are less fortunate. With both New York Farm Bureau and the Food Bank Association of New York State on the Governor’s Food Policy Council, New Yorkers can be certain that we will be working to expand upon these types of collaborative efforts that bring fresh, local food to so many in need.”
The donation event also included representatives from the local farming community, officials from New York Farm Bureau, and Greg Fuerst from the Venison Donation coalition. The Venison donation project provides an additional 100,000 pounds of Venison to the food bank network each year.
The donation totals for America’s Second Harvest Food Banks located in New York State are as follows:
Food Bank or FRO
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (Albany-Latham)
Food bank of Western New York (Buffalo)
Island Harvest (Mineola)
Food Bank For Westchester (Millwood)
Food Bank of Central New York (Syracuse)
Long Island Cares, Inc./The Harry Chapin Food Bank (Hauppaugue)
Food Bank of Southern Tier (Elmira)
City Harvest (New York City)
Food Bank For New York City
Running Total on 12/4/7
Governor Increases Food Bank Aid - $5 million
November 21, 2007
New York City - Governor Eliot Spitzer increased state aid to the food banks of New York State on November 21st by adding $5 million in Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program money to the food budgets of the eight regional food banks and the New York City United Way.
Governor Eliot Spitzer visited the Bowery Mission in New York City today to announce the additional $5 million. It will be available to help food pantries and soup kitchens, who are facing a decrease in federal funding and private donations, restock their shelves during this holiday season.
“We absolutely must continue to support the critical work of New York’s emergency food network, and I am pleased we can be of some assistance during this particularly tough holiday season,” said Governor Spitzer. “These volunteers help ensure that our state’s most vulnerable residents - the indigent, children and seniors - receive the food they need to remain healthy and productive.”
Food banks are facing depleted inventories this holiday season. Part of the unprecedented decline in available food is due to decreased private sector donations related to the economy and a reduction in federal support for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP funding is being negotiated in Congress as part of the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. However, it is unlikely New York State will receive a restoration of the $10 million previously allocated in TEFAP funding. Because food banks can purchase food in bulk at low rates, every dollar provided to the emergency food network is amplified. One dollar to the emergency food network can purchase and distribute four dollars worth of food.
State Health Commissioner Richard Daines said: “This additional funding will provide food for those New Yorkers who may not be able to feed themselves during this holiday season. Emergency food providers throughout New York State, and around the country, are experiencing unprecedented lows in their food inventories. I would like to thank Governor Spitzer for his commitment to this critical mission.”
John Evers, Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York State, said: “With food bank inventories across the state at record lows and the holiday season quickly approaching, the food banks of New York State wholeheartedly applaud Governor Spitzer for stepping up to the plate and providing needed food in desperate times. By directly addressing the issue of hunger and increasing state aid to the food banks Governor Spitzer shows us first hand that he understands the mission of emergency feeding programs and the difficult financial picture we are facing. This $5 million increase by Governor Spitzer will lead the way in helping us feed thousands of hungry people as we approach the tough winter months. The Food Banks of New York State can’t thank him enough for this welcome news.”
Governor's full press release: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/1121071.html
Food Banks Seek More Food & Funds
October 16, 2007
Executive Director Begs for food so other don't have to
COLONIE -- As executive director of the nearly 1-year-old statewide Food Bank Association, John Evers travels across New York to increase food resources for eight regional food banks.
As a statewide advocate, he aims to find funding opportunities to buy quantities in bulk at a fraction of the retail cost. He regularly meets with the Farm Bureau and various companies to ask for donations of surplus food or overstock from manufacturers, farmers and restaurants.
"Last week, I was all over the state: Orange and Oswego counties (visiting onion farmers for donations), the Adirondack Park visiting Kraft Foods and various cheese producers, and soon a trip to the Southern Tier to talk about farm donations," he said.
"I am dependent on farm donations as well as prepared food donations," he said, noting that now is a prime time for success. "It is harvest season."
Meanwhile, he said, "Hunger never takes a vacation."
"I do public speaking to make people aware of the food bank," Evers said. "Many people confuse us with a food pantry."
The nonprofit Food Bank Association receives U.S. Department of Agriculture surplus commodities, like corn and beans and also collects supplies of bread, fruit and vegetables.
Every food bank has a kitchen where soup kitchen cooks are trained on how to prepare foods that may not be familiar, like rutabagas.
In serving as a distribution agency, it sends what it collects to smaller organizations that make the food available to families. Up to half the people who rely on food donations are children, he said.
The food banks have large refrigerated rooms for fresh items like produce and dairy items, but most of their storage space is for nonperishable items. "Shelf-stable commodities are our staple," Evers said. "They are easy to share, easy to ship."
"We arrange for trucks to pick up food from donors and drop it off at the food bank," he said. "It is a two-pronged mission: We cut down on waste. And we feed the hungry."
Last year, in helping to feed 2.1 million people, the organization distributed 155 million pounds of food through 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other emergency feeding programs
In addition to edibles, the food bank also collects soap, diapers, shampoo, toothbrushes and personal hygiene items. This month, the warehouse in Latham still had back-to-school supplies. Evers' efforts are already producing results. The food banks have about half a million pounds more than they did before he came on board, he said.
But the challenges are also growing. "We get less and less through the federal government," Evers said. "Gasoline has gone up. Inflation goes up. Our purchasing power goes down."
But he remains an optimist, confident that the organization serves people well. "It is a well-oiled machine," Evers said.
Full article in Albany Times Union can be found at:
Food Banks Appointed to State Food Policy Council
September 19, 2007
Governor Eliot Spitzer today (9/19/07) announced the members of the New York State Council on Food Policy, which he established earlier this year. Members of the Council will work to establish new food policies for the state that will help ensure the availability of safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable food for all New Yorkers, especially low income individuals, senior citizens and children.
The Council will make recommendations to the Governor on state regulations, legislation and budget proposals in the area of food policy to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive inter-agency approach to state food policy issues. It is also tasked with identifying ways to increase the sale of New York agricultural products, with an emphasis on expanding the consumer market for locally-grown and organically-grown food. The Council will deliver a written annual report to the Governor.
“This Council will help the state coordinate its food-related policies and promote healthier communities,” said Governor Spitzer. “The members of this Council will bring new and diverse expertise to this important policy area and I thank them for agreeing to serve.”
The New York State Council on Food Policy includes representatives from all areas of the food system and will be chaired by New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker. Members include:
Linda Bopp, Executive Director of the Nutrition Consortium of New York State
Bruce Both, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union; Local 1500
Michael Burgess, Director of the Office for the Aging
Dr. Richard Daines, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health
Raymond Denniston, Food Service Director of the Johnson City Central School District and Co-Chair of the New York State Farm to School Coordinating Committee
Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Federation of New York
John Evers, Executive Director of the Food Bank Association of New York State
Daniel Gundersen, Upstate Chair of Empire State Development Corporation
David Hansell, Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Dr. Susan Henry, Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Richard Mills, Commissioner of the State Education Department
Cathryn Mizbani, Senior Extension Administrator and WIC Program Coordinator of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County
William Rapfogel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Metrpolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
Irwin Simon, Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
Julie Suarez, Director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau
Mary Warr Cowans, RD, CDN, and Associate Director of the Division of Nutrition at the New York State Department of Health
Eleanor Wilson, Corporate Dietician for Price Chopper Supermarkets, Inc.
Catherine Young, New York State Senator
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “The food industry is quite complex, and I am honored to lead this group of professionally diverse leaders and experts in the arena of food and agriculture. The experience and insightfulness of those on this Council make me confident that we will be effective in finding new and creative ways to improve our food systems for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”
The Council will hold its first meeting next month in Albany.
NYS Fair & Farmers Markets Donate to Food Banks
September 11, 2007
2,755 Pounds Donated by Farmers/Venders
In response to request for donations from venders and exhibitors, the Farmers Market Federation (led by Diane Eggert), the Pride of New York, and other venders, generously provided the Food bank Association and the Food Bank of Central NY with 2,755 pounds of fresh produce at the close of the State Fair on September 3rd.
Over the past few years the food banks of New York State have made a concerted effort to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables provided to the 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters across the state. With the establishment of the Food Bank Association of New York State in November 2006 partnerships have been established with various agriculture groups in efforts to feed the hungry in healthier ways. Our Association, representing all of the state’s members of America’s Second Harvest -The Nation’s Food Bank Network, strives to end hunger in New York State by placing a renewed focus on fresh and locally grown produce. We find ourselves constantly telling people that it is not just canned and dry goods that are distributed to help feed the hungry – but also fresh, nutritious, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. In fact, there is a renewed focus at the food banks to provide as much fresh fruit and vegetables in order to address some of the grave issues facing the hungry -- particularly children -- such as childhood obesity, malnutrition, vitamin-deficient diets, and the corresponding illness linked to bad eating habits.
Partnerships with the Farmers' Market Federation, Pride of New York, and the Department of Agriculture & Markets can only serve to strengthen bonds that will help feed the hungry by providing the freshest, locally grown fruits and vegetables. For more information access The Farmers Market Federation web site article on the State Fair: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/pdf2007/newsletterfall07.pdf
Buffalo second-poorest big city in U.S.: poverty rate of nearly 30 percent
August 31, 2007
Buffalo faces huge poverty level - Rochester and Syracuse at same poverty percentage
Buffalo is the second-poorest big city in the nation, new estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau show. Nearly 30 percent of its residents are considered poor. Only Detroit has higher poverty among American cities with populations of more than 250,000. While sobering, the numbers don’t begin to tell the whole story. For that, you need to look at the faces of the parents struggling to afford school supplies. Or listen to the single mother living on child support while attending college. Or talk to the frustrated retiree earning less than $10,000 a year in Social Security benefits.
“There is poverty in Buffalo, but nobody is doing anything about it,” said James Murdock, 67. Murdock retired from his job at a car wash due to illness and now collects $740 a month in Social Security. He lives on the top floor of a church on Broadway. “They’re not doing anything to bring industry back into Buffalo,” Murdock lamented Wednesday, “and it seems like nobody’s worried about it.”
Buffalo’s poverty isn’t an easy situation to crawl out from under.New estimates also show Buffalo’s median income of $27,850 is the third lowest in the U.S. among large cities, just ahead of Miami and Cleveland. Meanwhile, the nation’s median income is on the rise, and the poverty rate actually declined for the first time this decade, dipping slightly to 12.3 percent, according to the Census estimates. The poverty rate for the entire Buffalo Niagara region is 14.2 percent.
It’s no secret upstate New York’s economy has fared poorly compared with the rest of the nation, said Richard Deitz, regional economist at the Buffalo branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Its cities, he said, are being hardest hit.
The region isn’t growing in population, Deitz said, and as people have left Buffalo for the suburbs, problems like poverty are being concentrated in the city. Buffalo’s not alone. While Rochester and Syracuse weren’t ranked among the nation’s largest cities, the poverty rates in those two cities are almost identical to Buffalo’s. In Rochester, 30 percent of the people are poor, while in Syracuse it’s 29.6 percent. For full article access: http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/151336.html
Community Can Fight Childhood Hunger
August 28, 2007
Capital Region and Childhood Hunger Prevention
Soon, children all across the Capital Region will return to school. While many children will complain about losing their summer freedom, for others, school is the only place where they are guaranteed a meal.
On the first day, children experiencing hunger will have already fallen behind. They will have more difficulty concentrating in class, be sick more often during the school year, and be less likely to excel academically.
Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the growth and development of children, particularly low-income children. According to Hunger in America 2006, a comprehensive profile of the incidence and nature of hunger and food insecurity in the United States prepared by America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network, 62 percent of all client households with children younger than 18 participated in a school lunch program. But only 13.4 percent participated in a summer feeding program.
We can solve child hunger in our community. Regardless of our professions or political beliefs, we need to join together to ensure that all children get the nutritious meals they need every day. Together, we can create a hunger-free America.
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York
Association Food Banks Recieve Tyson Donation
August 21, 2007
Tyson Foods Makes Donation to Food Bank of Western New York
BUFFALO, New York, August 21, 2007 – The Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods, Inc. today announced the donation of a truckload of protein to the Food Bank of Western New York. Richard Bond made the announcement as part of his first visit as Tyson CEO to the company’s deli meat plant in Buffalo. The donation of more than 30,000 pounds of chicken products, which is the equivalent of 120,000 meals, was delivered to the food bank at 95 Holt Street following the event.
“The generosity that Tyson Foods has shown us over the last few years has been phenomenal,” said Clem Eckert, the food bank’s president and CEO. “The need for protein is always high, but even more so in the summertime when donations are down and children who need it most do not have access to the school-based feeding programs."
The Food Bank of Western New York serves the emergency food needs of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, distributing more than 13 million pounds of food annually to more than 80,000 Western New York families. For more information, go to www.foodbankwny.org.
Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500.
Food Bank For NYC Aquires FoodChange, Inc.
August 16, 2007
New York City - The Food Bank For New York City Board of Directors announced the official acquisition of FoodChange, Inc. by their organization, effective July 1, 2007. The transaction will enable the Food Bank to work more effectively to meet the needs of the more than two million New Yorkers who are struggling to put food on the table and to advance their mutual mission to end hunger.
Through the provision of emergency food and education to its network of more than 1,000 member organizations, the Food Bank has singular access to low-income city residents. FoodChange programs promote access to nutritious food and government nutrition and income support programs. Working together, the two organizations provide a unique opportunity to connect emergency food program participants with a continuum of services. The Food Bank's expertise in research, policy and advocacy will steer these efforts to further our long-term goal of ensuring local and permanent access to affordable, nutritious food for all low-income New Yorkers.
Dr. Lucy Cabrera will be President and CEO of both organizations. Please feel free to contact the Food Bank for further details, or learn more about the organizations on the Food Bank and FoodChange websites.
Food Bank Association - Empire Farm Days
August 08, 2007
Seneca Falls, NY - Food Bank Association made its inaugural appearance at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls this August 7-8-9, 2007. The Association hosted a booth and distributed information on the state's food banks, networked with farmers, and had a chance to discuss agriculture, nutrition, and food issues with the NYS Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets. Empire Farm Days is hosted every year by the NYS Potato Growers and gather thousands of farmers to western NY. Such outreach events provide a forum for the Association and its mission to better educate New Yorkers on the mission of, and need for, food banks. Many farmers dropped by the Association booth and offered to make donations at the end of their harvest season.
Summer Food Program opens in Albany
July 10, 2007
Summer food Program opens in Albany. Governor Eliot Spitzer, Superintendent of the Albany City School District, the Food Bank Association, and local officials kick-off the Summer Food Program at Philip Livingston Junior High School in Albany. The Nutrition Consortium and Food Bank Association’ s Executive Director John Evers were instrumental in having the program opened in the City School District. The program enables children to participate in supervised physical activities during the summer months while they are offered healthy meals. The program bridges the summer months between school semesters when students, who normally participate in the school free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs, are particularly susceptible to missing meals. The video and photo links can be found here. http://www.ny.gov/governor/photos/0710072.html
Syracuse Food Banks Gives out "Gardens in a bucket"
June 05, 2007
Celebrating Hunger Awareness Day, the Food Bank of Central New York handed out over 500 five-gallon buckets complete with soil and a tomato plant. The project encourages people to grow healthy foods and explore eating more nutritious, home grown produce. The kits also included instructions on the care of the “garden” and when to expect the plant to produce tomatoes. The full press release can be found on the Food Bank of Central New York’s website at: www.foodbankcny.org
Albany's Regional Food Bank Turns 25!
June 05, 2007
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York Turns 25! The Food Bank had very humble beginnings, opening its doors in June of 1982 in antiquated warehouse and office space in downtown Albany. We distributed 377,000 pounds of food to about 60 agencies in six counties that year. Today we provide nearly 20 million pounds of food and grocery products a year to 1,000 agencies in 23 counties from our 62,000 square-foot warehouse in Latham and branch facility in Cornwall-on-Hudson. To commemorate this special milestone, we will be engaging in a number of activities throughout the year, and we invite you to join us. For more information access: www.regionalfoodbank.net
Southern Tier Food Bank's Summer Walk
June 02, 2007
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s First Annual Children’s Hunger Walk, held on Saturday, June 2, 2007, was a great success. Close to 100 participants gathered at Eldridge Park in Elmira in support of local hunger-relief efforts. This first annual event focused on family fun and healthy choices for children. There were activities for children, giveaways, yoga, live music, local mascots and more. Donations raised the day of the event totaled just under $3,000. Together with a $5,000 sponsorship from the five Southern Tier Wegmans stores and a $3,000 sponsorship from Guthrie, the First Annual Children’s Hunger Walk raised just under $11,000. 100% of the funds raised will stay in the Southern Tier and help the Food Bank serve our most vulnerable neighbors in need – children. More than 39% of those helped by the Food Bank each year are age 17 and under. For more access: www.foodbankst.org
Governor Signs Executive Order Creating Council on Food Policy
May 20, 2007
Governor Eliot Spitzer today (May 20) announced that he has signed an executive order (#13) establishing a New York State Council on Food Policy. Council Will Coordinate Policies to Promote Agriculture, Health and Nutrition The Council will coordinate state agriculture policy and make recommendations on developing food policy that will help ensure the availability of safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable food for all New Yorkers, especially low income residents, senior citizens and children. The Council will look at ways to increase sales of New York agricultural products to New York consumers, with a special emphasis on expanding the consumer market for organic food. Full press release can be accessed at: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/0520071.html