The Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP), has announced a one time grant to New York’s regional food banks to be spent solely on New York State grown produce as part of the HPNAP Locally Grown Produce (LGP) Initiative.In conjunction with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Fresh Connect Program, HPNAP’s Locally Grown Produce Initiative will provide Long Island Cares, Inc. with a one-time allocation of additional funding in the amount of $206,000. The funding will increase access to local, fresh, nutritious produce in the emrgency food network and also support the New York State farm economy. According to the NYS announcement, “Expanding access to locally grown produce in under-served communities has been shown to both improve nutrition and lower health risks associated with obesity and diet-related disease, while also fostering community and economic development.”
According to Paule Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares, Inc., “We’re very grateful for this additional one time grant from New York State HPNAP that will allow us to not only purchase $206,000 in locally grown produce to support our 580 member agencies, but will allow us to keep most of the funding right here on Long Island.” “Governor Cuomo continues to champion the work of New York’s eight regional food banks, and as the recognized regional food bank for Long Island we are very proud of the partnership we share with both HPNAP and the Governor’s Office.”
The additional funding will support the purchase of locally grown produce through June 2013. Long Island Cares staff will be meeting with representatives of the Long Island Farm Bureau as well as local farmers that have been working with the food bank to discuss maximizing the grant to support Long Island farmers.