A short lived state program created to provide produce to New York’s meals pantries in the course of the peak of the pandemic will now be completely funded because of a state invoice signed into regulation by Governor Kathy Hochul.
The Nourish New York program was signed into regulation by Hochul on Saturday, offering $50 million to this system. At an occasion exterior the Queens Museum, which doubles as a meals distribution web site for La Jornada, one of many borough’s largest meals pantries. Throughout the early days of the pandemic in 2020, meals insecurity soared, with meals pantries compelled to show away individuals as a result of elevated demand. Lawmakers hope the extra funds will proceed serving to the starvation disaster even past the pandemic.
Learn extra: Extra Than 6 Months After Pandemic Hit, Flushing’s Largest Food Pantry Nonetheless Overwhelmed By Demand
Underneath this system, the state supplies funding to meals banks and emergency meals suppliers to buy produce, meat, and different merchandise from upstate farms. The invoice handed within the state Legislature earlier than the session wrapped up in June, however was not signed by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo.
On the ceremony Saturday marking the brand new regulation, Queens Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, a Democrat, stated this system was life-saving for Queens residents impacted by the pandemic.
“The food lines at my office grew so much, including [at] La Jornada, that sometimes our streets were shut down,” stated Cruz. “We went from distributing 250 meals a day to 2,500 meals a day, sometimes six or seven days a week at the height of the pandemic.”
With strain on meals pantries, eating places and caterers shuttered, and farmers unable to correctly promote extra meals, the state created the Nourish New York program to assist feed New Yorkers. Cruz stated this system has helped maintain greater than 4,000 farms and distributed 17 million kilos of meals. Almost $100 million has gone towards this system.
Pedro Rodriguez, founder and govt director of La Jornada, recalled that with such excessive demand for meals in the course of the peak of the pandemic, he was compelled to show individuals away. As of late, Rodriguez stated there’s “no lack of food for Queens.”
Rodriguez and Cruz had been joined by state Senator Michelle Hinchey, a Democrat representing Greene and Montgomery Counties, calling the invoice bundle a “no brainer.”
Hochul stated she seen the lengthy traces of New Yorkers ready to get their meals for the week exterior the Queens Museum Saturday.
“This is heartbreaking,” Hochul stated. “I want every single person here to look over there before you leave today and say never again in this state.”