“The New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force will be a key resource and tool in our ongoing efforts to eliminate hunger in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “By bringing experts, officials and advocates to the same table, we can enhance the effectiveness of our fight against hunger by better coordinating the significant public and private resources already dedicated to this important issue. Hunger in New York is a long-term problem that cannot be solved in a matter of weeks, so this Task Force is the right step towards developing lasting solutions to increase access to food for those in need and build healthier and more prosperous communities. In the 21st century, it is simply intolerable that one million New York children are going to bed hungry and so many households are struggling to put food on the table. I thank the members of the Task Force for their dedication and service.”
Nearly 14% of New York households struggle with hunger, and at least 1 million New York children live in households that do not have regular and consistent access to food. Yet nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers who are eligible for food stamps do not receive them.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will develop strategies to:· Maximize resources to fight hunger in New York State by increasing participation in federally funded programs like SNAP, school breakfast and school lunch;
· Use public/private partnerships to increase outreach and leverage the power of government, businesses and the non-profit sectors working together; and
· Improve access to quality, healthy food through the use of New York farm products and locally produced goods to combat hunger while creating jobs and supporting economic development.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will be chaired by Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of the Food Bank of New York City, and will include experts in hunger and nutrition, anti-hunger advocates, service providers, representatives of the agriculture industry, local government and education officials, representatives of the non-profit and private sectors, and members of the Governor’s Cabinet.
Billy Shore, Share Our Strength Founder and CEO, said, “The Anti-Hunger Task Force is a critical step forward in making sure the children of New York State have healthy food every day. We stand ready to work with the Governor and others to give voice to our most vulnerable children, and to ensure that no kid goes hungry in New York.”
New York has taken significant steps in the past three years to extend food assistance to New Yorkers in need. In 2011, Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect program, which brings fresh, locally grown food to underserved communities. The FreshConnect program includes projects such as youth markets, delivery of products to low-income housing facilities and new initiatives at traditional farmers’ markets.
The Governor also ended the finger imaging requirement for food stamp applicants and recipients, simplifying the application process and removing a barrier to reducing hunger for children and adults.
In addition, Governor Cuomo recently announced nearly $5 million in funding from the Superstorm Sandy Social Services Block Grant to support continued food relief for Sandy victims and, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, announced a 15% funding increase for food banks and other emergency food programs.