CORONA, Queens — With so many of New Yorkers unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck, food banks and pantries are the only way for many to feed their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos said local food pantries are now getting a boost with the state's new $25 million program called “Nourish New York,” which in turn provides compensation to farmers.
“It’s a win win for the farmers upstate and for those of us at the epicenter of COVID-19," Ramos said. "We are really in need of food — especially fresh food."
Saeeda Dunston is the executive director of Elmcore, the first food pantry in New York City to receive food from from the connection, doubling the amount of families her group will be able to feed every week.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were a food insecure community. The ability to now feed a thousand families is beyond our wildest dreams. We know this community is desperate in need of food,” said Dunston.
The state program launched last week.
From Masapequa, Long Island to Queens, where Ramos distributed fresh fruits and vegetables outside her district office Friday, 700 people picked up fresh produce and milk.
So far, Nourish New York has purchased food and products from more than 2,100 New York farms and provided support to nearly 50 food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries.
Elmcore will be distributing food this Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Corona, Queens.