Patricia NicolasMar 3, 2017, 6:18 pmMar 12, 2017, 3:24 pm

Local farmers push for farm-to-food bank bill

Governor Cuomo has vetoed similar bills twice before

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More than 10 millions pounds of food move through Island Harvest Food Bank each year. Twice they've tried to get a bill signed by Covernor Cuomo and twice they've failed.

But if they can get him to sign it this time, it will help them provide even more to the more than three hundred thousand people here on Long Island who are suffering from food insecurity.

The food to bank bill provides tax credits to farmers who donate to food banks, something that was discouraged by governments before.

At this morning’s legislative breakfast, Island Harvest Food Bank told FiOS1 News that farmers had been donating for years, and if this bill passes it would benefit not only the community and the farmers as well.

“It will have a tremendous impact with farmers and help them with all the costa that they have to make the donations to the food banks,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president of Island Harvest Food Bank

Island Harvest says farmers donated more than two million pounds of fresh and locally grown produce last year. Their partnership here on Long Island is one of largest in the farm to food bank program in the state.

The surplus of fresh produce has made a difference to the Peace after school program. They say if the bill passes, it would help them continue to serve the community.

“When you have a father who says ‘Dr. Faith, I really appreciate what you are doing because this food helps our family,’ well we are only helping them once every other week,” said Faith Vaughan-Schavuo, executive director of the Peace afterschool program. “It would be wonderful if we could have this extra resource every week he would get this healthy food for his family.”

Island Harvest encourages those who can to write to Governor Cuomo about how important the farm to food bank bill is. They say they are hopeful this time it will pass and they can continue to serve the community.

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