S.4892-A/A.5781-A Permanently Creates the Nourish NY Program in Agriculture & Markets Law

Governor Kathy Hochul today, in Corona, Queens, signed legislation S.4892-A/A.5781-A enshrining the Nourish New York program permanently in state law. The signing of this legislation comes just before the Thanksgiving holiday, reaffirming New York’s commitment to providing support to those facing food insecurity across the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented hardship to so many New Yorkers and made the situations for those already struggling even worse,” Governor Hochul said. “The implementation of the Nourish NY program was a huge success in helping those facing food insecurity while also benefiting New York’s farms. As we get ready to celebrate the holidays, I am proud to sign this legislation to ensure our state will continue to combat hunger and provide for those in need.”

The Nourish New York initiative reroutes New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through the state’s food banks. The program also provides much-needed support for the food producers and farmers who have lost markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because the state’s food banks are buying agricultural products from New York farmers and food processors.

Through three rounds of the program, New York’s food banks have purchased over 35 million pounds of New York food products, which equates to 29,800,000 meals. In this fourth round, to date, New York’s food banks have purchased 6,903,366 pounds of food, creating an additional 5,752,805 meals for households in need. A total of $85 million has been committed to Nourish NY since its launch in May 2020. Nourish NY food purchases have positively impacted 4,178 businesses across the state.

Learn more about Nourish NY here.

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Nourish New York is the definition of a strong upstate/downstate partnership that brilliantly demonstrates what’s possible when we work together to deliver a life-sustaining service for New Yorkers who have fallen on hard times while simultaneously sparking food system innovation. During one of the darkest moments our state has ever faced, Nourish New York was a beacon of compassionate, bipartisan support that addressed the devastating surge in food insecurity and provided upstate farmers, who were struggling to stay in business, with a new avenue to continue feeding our communities — a win-win framework in every sense of the word. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this important bill into law and look forward to forging more upstate/downstate coalitions to ensure that no New Yorker is left behind.”

Assemblymember Catalina Cruz said, “The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the hunger and good insecurity problems already plaguing many communities across the state, including thousands of families in my District. Our farms also saw their bottom line impacted when the supply chain was disrupted. Nourish NY presented a life-saving opportunity to support the food pantries caring for our neighbors while fighting for the survival of our farming community. I am proud to have pushed to allocate $50 million to Nourish NY in this year’s budget. Additionally, together with the signing of this law, we are now ensuring the continuity of this life-saving program. It is critical that we now also strengthen our emergency food system through a yearly review included in this new law. I want to thank my sponsors and partners in this fight, Senators Hinchey and Borrello, as well as Chairwoman Lupardo and Speaker Heastie for their support. I also want to thank Governor Hochul and her team for signing this life-saving legislation and putting our communities first. With rising food prices and more and more food pantries struggling to purchase the supplies they need, this new law comes at the perfect time.”

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “Nourish NY served as a critical pipeline getting food from our farms to people in need during the pandemic, especially when there were serious disruptions in the supply chain. Today’s action by Gov. Hochul makes the program a permanent fixture in New York State. Nourish NY will continue to assist farmers with the costs of harvesting, packaging, and transporting fruits, vegetables, dairy products and more while making sure all New Yorkers can put food on their tables. It is important that we continue to work together to strengthen New York agriculture and our local food system, so we have the ability to feed ourselves long after the pandemic subsides.”