Feedmore WNY purchases more than 80,000 pounds of surplus food
Feedmore WNY, the hunger relief organization serving Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties in Western New York, has now purchased more than 800,000 pounds of surplus milk and food through the Nourish New York program since the start of the emergency food program in May.
This includes 174,231 pounds of milk and dairy products and 462,241 pounds of produce, such as such as cabbage, green beans, salad greens and prepacked produce boxes of apples, cucumbers, potatoes, squash, onions, peppers and tomatoes. FeedMore WNY also purchased meat and surplus shelf-stable commodities with these funds, the agency’s purchases of New York agricultural products totaling $1.6 million to date.
In addition, Feedmore WNY has implemented a voucher program in partnership with Upstate Niagara Cooperative that has so far provided people the opportunity to receive more than 34,000 half gallons of milk at cooperating retail outlets.
“By connecting people and producers during a time of severe economic difficulty, Nourish New York is making a big difference — keeping farm businesses alive and bringing food to those in need,” said Richard Ball, state agriculture commissioner. “I commend Feedmore WNY for involving Western New York farms in this important effort to feed their communities.”
Nourish New York provides $25 million to the state’s emergency food providers to help them buy surplus products from the state’s farmers and producers, who lost markets for their products due to the pandemic. Those agricultural products are then provided to New York consumers, many of whom were thrown into financial crisis by the COVID-19 outbreak, at drive-through food distributions, and through food box and school meal programs.
“FeedMore WNY has distributed nearly 10 million pounds of food since the pandemic hit the Western New York region — a 47% increase compared to what we usually distribute this time of year,” said Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY. “As FeedMore WNY continues to work tirelessly to respond to the increased need for food assistance in the community as a result of the pandemic, we are grateful for the partnership of New York State and the Nourish New York program. Because of this critical program, we have been able to provide a variety of nutritious food to hungry children, families and older adults throughout Western New York.”
Since the beginning of the Nourish New York program in May, Feedmore WNY has held 285 mobile food distributions in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The non-profit agency has also continued to supply food pantries and distribute food from other sources. Information on upcoming distributions, food pantry locations, and more can be found here.