ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since launching in April, Nourish New York has processed over 5.4 million pounds—2,700 tons—of surplus dairy, produce, meat, and other food products. That food represents over $5.5 million, and went to over 180,000 households via more than 660 distribution events statewide.

The pandemic has caused a dramatic spike in demand at food banks—with some regions reporting up to 200% growth—as New Yorkers struggle to put food on the table. Most New York farmers and food producers have also lost up to 50% of their sales as perishables go unsold.

The goal of Nourish New York is quickly routing surplus agricultural products directly from New York farms to needy populations through state food banks via a $25 million cash infusion. This way, the surplus milk, yogurt, cheese, vegetables, fruit, etc. left unsold because of dwindling restaurant and school district orders does not go to waste, and local farmers can also maintain an income.

Locally, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York was responsible for over 1.1 million pounds of that food. The purchases—which have fed over 45,000 households in the Capital Region, North Country, and Mohawk and Hudson Valleys—included:

  • 387,681 pounds of dairy products
  • 294,531 pounds of produce
  • 254,772 pounds of eggs
  • 82,739 pounds of meat

The Regional Food Bank has held almost 100 food distribution events in 23 counties since Nourish New York began, with another scheduled for Thursday, July 23 on Green Street in Albany.

Sam Simon, a founding farmer of Hudson Valley Fresh in Poughkeepsie, said, “Our ten family farms are honored to partner with the Regional Food Bank to provide fresh, local dairy during this current crisis as a way to help absorb excess milk in the market and provide it to those in need.”

If you or someone you know wants to help state food banks, contact Fran Barrett, the Director of Non-Profits via email.