STATE PRIORITIES

Feeding New York State is the state association of Feeding America-affiliated food banks. Our ten members work to support the nearly 3 million New Yorkers experiencing hunger and food insecurity, distributing hundreds of millions of pounds each year in partnership with nearly 5,000 community-based organizations.

Healthy food is a basic human right.

Guided by this understanding, Feeding New York State advocates for public policy that both supports the immediate needs of struggling New Yorkers and addresses upstream causes of hunger and food insecurity.

Our association calls on state policymakers to:

SUPPORT THE HUNGER PREVENTION AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (HPNAP) AT $63M

New York’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) helps support New York-based food banks, food pantries, emergency shelters, and community-based organizations that work on the frontlines in the fight against hunger. For over 30 years, the program has helped improve nutrition security for hungry New Yorkers through healthy food procurement, storage and distribution, and operational expenses.

As part of the 2022-2023 New York State Budget, lawmakers invested a historic $56.5M in HPNAP. After years of flat-funding, this investment has helped emergency food providers better support the elevated levels of demand for hunger relief. We applaud state lawmakers for prioritizing hunger relief in this current fiscal year budget.

However, due to a confluence of factors – including the expiration of pandemic-era interventions and wage growth not keeping up with the rate of inflation – 80% of our member food banks have reported longer lines at food distributions. Today, food banks across the state are also struggling to keep up with rising food prices.

WE ASK STATE LEADERS to allocate $63M for HPNAP in the 2023-2024 New York State Budget.

SUPPORT THE NOURISH NEW YORK INITIATIVE AT $75M

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers stepped up to connect hungry New Yorkers with NY-grown produce. Since 2020, the program has provided over 70 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food to hungry New Yorkers while generating $150M in direct benefits for over 4,000 producers across the state.

We applaud the work of Governor Hochul and state legislators to codify Nourish New York as a permanent program.

WE ASK STATE LEADERS to strengthen the program by investing $75M in the 2023-2024 New York State budget.

INVEST IN THE NUTRITION OUTREACH AND EDUCATION PROGRAM (NOEP)

Recent data shows that nearly 3 million New Yorkers participate in SNAP. The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP), run through New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the helps ensure all eligible New Yorkers are aware of and able to participate in federal nutrition programs including but not limited to SNAP, WIC, CACFP, and school meals.

WE SUPPORT CONTINUED INVESTMENT in the program to maximize the participation of eligible New Yorkers in federal nutrition programs.

ENACT VALUES-BASED FOOD PURCHASING LEGISLATION

Municipal food procurement law in New York requires municipal institutions – schools, hospitals, shelters, etc. – to choose the “lowest responsible bidder” for food purchasing. Unfortunately, this requirement fails to account for negative externalities in the bidding process and prevents communities from leveraging their collective purchasing power to strengthen the food system.

Legislation introduced by Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes (S.7534 / A.8580) would give municipal institutions the option to factor in the following criteria: environmental sustainability, racial equity, fair labor practices, local economies, nutrition quality, and animal welfare.

WE CALL ON STATE LEADERS to pass the Good Food NY bill and help communities leverage their purchasing power.