New York state lawmakers call for more aid to food relief organizations

People wait in line at a food distribution site in Manhattan in July 2020.
People wait in line at a food distribution site in Manhattan in July 2020.
lev radin / Shutterstock
The Food Bank for New York City hosted a free food distribution for New Yorkers in July.

New York state lawmakers call for more aid to food relief organizations

One of their demands is for the state to invest an additional $25 million into an initiative bringing products from upstate farms to food banks.
October 28, 2020

More than 50 New York state legislators sent a letter last week calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to provide more aid to organizations providing emergency food relief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers – including Assembly Members Andrew Hevesi, Donna Lupardo and Michaelle Solages – pushed the governor to release about $2 billion in federal funding provided via the CARES Act to support New York nonprofits offering food assistance. The state legislators also asked that another $25 million be invested into the Nourish New York program, an initiative launched in April to purchase food from upstate farms and distribute it across the state. New York has spent $15 million of the $25 million that was initially allocated, according to the letter.

Signatories also asked the state to address contracting and payment delays with frontline nonprofits. “Current contracting and payment delays are impeding these frontline organizations’ abilities to retain staff and deploy resources, resulting in layoffs and pushing nonprofit providers toward insolvency,” it reads. “This is unsustainable for these organizations.”

As many as 2 million New Yorkers have been projected to struggle with hunger throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. Close to one-third of residents reported that they ran out of food during September, in a survey conducted by the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, and another 38% were worried they would run out of food before they could buy more. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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