New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced funding totaling over $3.8 million dollars to help improve senior citizens’ access to locally grown foods in their area.
The State Department of Agriculture and Markets was recently awarded the funds from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to assist older New Yorkers. The funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Act and is part of $50 million the FNS has been awarding in grants to 47 states and tribes to modernize and expand Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.
New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball said, “There’s no age limit on eating well. However, whether they are dealing with increasing mobility constraints or the loss of a steady income, many of our older residents find purchasing local, farm-fresh food more and more challenging. Programs like the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program are essential to ensuring some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to fresh, healthy foods at affordable prices.”
An Executive order will also be issued by Governor Hochul to direct state agencies to sours at least 30% of their food from New York producers. This year’s state budget also includes $10 million in grants to provide expanded food access to farm markets, food co-ops, and other retail food stores in underserved areas.