New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that New York made, kosher dairy products, purchased through the State’s Nourish New York initiative, were distributed to families in need for the Jewish holiday of Shavuos. Working with the Food Bank for NYC, Masbia Soup Kitchen Network in Brooklyn and Queens distributed the products, including sour cream, farmer cheese, and cheese blintzes from Lamb Farm and Mehadrin Dairy, as the Jewish community honored Shavuos, which is celebrated by eating dairy. Over 10,000 pounds of local dairy products were given out in total during the distributions, impacting over 20,000 New Yorkers facing food in security.
Commissioner Ball said, “Nourish New York has been a lifeline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting New York farmers with families in need through our network of emergency food providers. With this distribution, Masbia Soup Kitchen and Food Bank for NYC are addressing a real need for kosher I want to thank our dairy farms during this month, Dairy Month, and everyone for providing wholesome and nutritious products for us all to enjoy. ”
Dairy products distributed for the holiday were purchased by Food Bank for NYC through the Nourish New York program and routed to Masbia Soup Kitchen Network to distribute to the community. Milk from Lamb Farms in Oakfield, New York is trucked to Friendship, New York to a unionized plant where it is processed into dairy products including farmer cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese, and shipped downstate under the brand called Mehadrin to kosher communities. Mehadrin is headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey and uses New York milk in the products distributed through Nourish New York. So far through Nourish New York, over 1,085,200 pounds of dairy products have been purchased from Lamb Farms and Mehadrin by food banks to give to communities in need, representing over $ 2,490,880 in support for New York’s dairy farmers.
This announcement comes as the State kicks off Dairy Month, an annual celebration of the dairy industry. New York’s dairy industry is a critical sector of the state’s economy and as its leading agricultural sector, dairy accounts for approximately one-half of New York’s total agricultural income. New York State has nearly 3,500 dairy producers that produce 15.5 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fifth largest dairy state.
Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network said, “This is the third Shavuos that families in need were able to celebrate with dairy through the Nourish New York program. It was actually launched three years ago, right before Shavuos. I am extremely grateful to Governor Hochul for making this funding permanent. It is a Before this program was around, Masbia had almost no access to kosher dairy products. This initiative was a game changer and with the cost of food at an all-time high, more and more families rely on Masbia to put food on their tables. ””
Leslie Gordon,, Food Bank For NYC CEO and President said, “Food Bank For New York City is proud of its partnership with Nourish New York through which we are able to source, store, and distribute $ 58 million worth of food for people in need from New York farmers. This program provides ongoing critical support in so We are honored to partner with of them and the New York State Department of Agriculture to help 20,000 Jewish New Yorkers celebrate the Shavuot holiday with food that honors their traditions. We look forward to the continued opportunity to work with our partners in government and in communities to bring culturally relevant, nutritious food to New Yorkers in need. ”
Senator Simcha Felder said, “It is almost unfathomable that in the richest country in the world so many of our neighbors might go to bed hungry and wake up worrying about feeding their children. Food insecurity is a terrible scourge and I am so grateful to see Nourish NY bringing all our community partners from across New York together to keep families well fed and enjoying holidays meals the way they should. This is a beautiful success story. “
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Many people are not aware that the dairy industry is the largest sector of our agricultural industry. June is not only Dairy Month, but the Jewish holiday of Shavuot began on June 4th. It celebrates not only the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai but also the summer harvest. Many people in our Jewish community have been struggling to meet their kosher dairy needs. Connecting the produce of our dairy farms to those in need is truly a Mitzvah, a commandment, a good deed. I want to thank Agriculture. and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball and Governor Kathy Hochul for making this a priority and Masbia Soup Kitchen for being the conduit. ”
Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal said, “The benefits to low and middle-income as a result of the codification of the Nourish New York program have been indisputable, especially for families with faith-based diets. During this unstable economic time, New York continues to lead the way in ensuring that meal-insecure families have food on the table during times of worship. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership in making the funding for this vital program permanent. ”
Assemblymember Nily Rozic said, “Coming together as a community to help meet struggling New Yorkers’ nutritional needs is particularly important during the holiday season. Thanks to Governor Hochul’s Nourish New York initiative, we are able to leverage the state’s agricultural sector to ensure that food is distributed to those families. in need every day. ”
The Nourish New York initiative reroutes New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through the state’s food banks. The program also provides much-needed support for the food producers and farmers who have lost markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because the state’s food banks are buying agricultural products from New York farmers and food processors.
To date, the Nourish New York program has helped move more than 45 million pounds of milk off the farm, representing more than $ 20 million spent to support dairy farmers as of this weekA total of $ 147 million has been committed to Nourish New York since its launch in May 2020. Nourish New York food purchases have positively impacted 4,178 businesses across the State. In November 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation S.4892-A / A. 5781-A enshrining the Nourish New York program permanently in state law.