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Gillibrand proposes New York-grown produce for new USDA program

Thomas O'Neil-White
United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

U. S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased food insecurity in the state. People across the state wait in line to get food from local food banks and pantries.

On the production side, she says a lack of orders from restaurants, schools and event spaces have left farmers with food they cannot get rid of.

To bridge the supply and demand gap, Gillibrand is proposing the U.S. Department of Agriculture use fruits and vegetables grown in New York for its new food purchase and distribution program.

“Here in New York, our farmers are top producers of fruits and vegetables like apples, cabbage, onions, snap peas and grapes,” she said. “Adding these nutritious options include produce from New York farmers to new food purchase and distribution programs will strengthen our diets, our farms, our food systems and our economy at the same time.”

The current Farmers to Families Food Box program runs out in April. No word yet on how long this program will last.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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