Governor Cuomo announced a slate of initiatives at the "Upstate-Downstate Farm to Table Agriculture Summit" in Manhattan last Thursday, all focused on linking upstate producers with New York City in order to increase city dwellers’ access to fresh, New York State grown and produced foods. GrowNYC has played an integral role in increasing New York City’s consumption of New York State farm products while putting more money directly into the pockets of small and midsized farmers, and we look forward to working alongside the State to continue growing these initiatives.
“Currently, low-income communities throughout New York City and the state lack access to fresh, healthy foods and small to midsized farmers cannot fairly compete with industrial sized farms from the west coast and beyond,” says GrowNYC Executive Director, Marcel Van Ooyen. “We are extremely thankful to Governor Cuomo and the State for recognizing the importance of continuing our state’s rich agricultural tradition and for investing in the financial health of our family farmers as well as the physical health of New Yorkers of all income levels.”
“We are thrilled to hear Governor Cuomo is prioritizing so many programs that we see as integral to linking upstate and downstate economies and providing access to healthy food for all New Yorkers,” says GrowNYC Board Chairman, Robert J. Kafin, Esq. “New York State boasts some of the best farmers and food producers in the world and there is no better marketplace than that of the 8.5 million residents of New York City to help ensure they are able to continue their work and inspire the next generation of farmers, bakers, jam makers and beyond .”
For over 40 years, GrowNYC has worked hard to get New York State grown products to those who need them most, but there is still more to be done. We are grateful to the Governor for pledging financial support to help expand food box programs like GrowNYC’s own Fresh Food Box, which brings fresh produce at an affordable price directly to those who need it most. Additionally, we are grateful for his support to establish a Regional Food Wholesale Farmers Market along with a Regional Food Hub Task Force which will increase upstate farmers’ ability to access the vast New York City market while also increasing city dwellers access to fresh, local foods. With the generous support of the Governor and the State of New York, we look forward to continuing GrowNYC's efforts to ensure New York State makes farming and farmers an anchor of our economic and environmental sustainability.