Being in the midst of a pandemic, the Diocesan Public Policy Committee wanted to focus on an issue that was impacting those most vulnerable to its impacts. After exploring a number of issues and actions the committee decided on putting our support behind “Nourish NY” for this year’s Public Policy Weekend on February 13th/14th.
Nourish NY is a state program where they provide money to food banks who are then required to purchase food from NYS farmers and fishermen who have been hard hit by the pandemic. Farmers speak about how orders are down with restaurants and schools/universities not ordering as much food. The food banks (in our diocese they are Foodlink and Catholic Charities run, Foodbank of the Southern Tier) then provide the food to their associated food pantries (like the ones that are run by many of our parishes) at little to no cost. This way the food doesn’t go to waste. Those facing food insecurity get access to fresh produce. Farmers are getting paid for their crops, preventing lay-offs and potential food shortages once everything opens back up again. It’s a true win-win-win.
We are asking the governor and our representatives to put $50 million towards Nourish NY. Some good news is that the governor recently pledged $25 million and he has spoken about providing more if federal funding comes through in another Covid-19 relief bill. Nevertheless, we are wanting to make sure that it is a priority if/when the federal money comes through.
We recognize that many people are not attending mass in person, therefore we have an option for you to sign the petition electronically. Check out https://www.dor.org/petition/ for more information and to sign the petition.