Governor Hochul Announces More Than $3.8 Million Awarded to Improve Seniors’ Access to Locally Grown Foods

Department of Agriculture and Markets to Administer Grant to Expand Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Builds Upon Governor Hochul’s Commitment to Boost New York’s Agriculture and Local Food Sourcing

On February 24, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the Department of Agriculture and Markets has been awarded over $3.8 million from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to help New York seniors better access locally grown food. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act and is part of $50 million the FNS is awarding in grants to 47 states and tribes to modernize and expand the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. It is one of many programs Governor Hochul is facilitating to source more locally grown and produced foods.

“One of our biggest strengths as a state is the wide scope of what we have to offer, and our farms’ bounty is at the top of that list,” Governor Hochul said. “With a fifth of our land used for farming for our 33,000 family farms, we’re bringing more of New York’s fresh produce and products not only to our seniors, but also to schools and State agencies — supporting our farms and promoting healthier lifestyles.”

In addition to the expansion of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Governor Hochul will be issuing an Executive Order later this year to direct New York State agencies to source 30 percent of their food from New York producers while also inviting local governments and school districts to strive to meet this goal. The Governor’s proposed FY24 Executive Budget allocates $50 million to a grant program that will support scratch cooking facilities for schools using New York Farm products. The Budget also sets aside $10 million in funding for grants providing for expanded food access to farm markets, food co-ops, and other retail food stores in underserved communities, as well as over $2.2 million to expand urban agriculture infrastructure and community gardens across the state.

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