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April 17, 2006

Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
(518) 455-5203

Bronx Kids To Learn About Where Their Milk
and Drinking Water Comes From
Assemblyman José Rivera organizes trip to upstate dairy farm and NYC watershed reservoir

(Bronx, NY) - Tomorrow over 40 children, and chaperones, from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and the Kingsbridge Community Center After-School Program will be leaving the Bronx to visit a dairy farm and NYC reservoir in Upstate Schoharie County. They will be joining their Assemblyman, José Rivera, to learn about the issues facing farmers, and where their water supply comes from, and the relationship of these farms and the reservoirs to the food they eat and the water they drink.

In February, Assemblyman José Rivera (Bronx), was appointed the Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy by Speaker Sheldon Silver. A few weeks later a group of teens from the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center were visiting Rivera's Albany office to lobby for more support for after-school programs and he told them about his new legislative responsibilities which include promoting good nutrition and New York farm products. Around the same time he was also lobbied by Schoharie County farmers who were concerned about potential flooding from the Schoharie Reservoir which is owned and operated by NYC as part of its Upstate water supply.

According to Rivera, "When I met with the children from my District about their after-school program I told them about my appointment as the Chair of my Task Force and how I would be working to improve nutrition programs, such as school lunch and after-school meal programs that they and their families may rely on. I also talked to them about improving the quality of food available in our community, including more local, fresh food from nearby farms. When I was explaining this to the kids, they expressed interest in visiting a farm. Fortunately, during my time in Albany I have developed a good relationship with New York farmers and I organized a visit to a Schoharie County dairy farm and the nearby reservoir which provides drinking water for all of us in NYC. Now that we are visiting this area I am pleased that NYC has recently decided to fully repair the Schoharie Reservoir dam so that our friends in Schoharie do not have to live with the threat of dangerous flooding."

The dairy farm the Bronx residents will visit is known as Crossbrook Farm and is operated by the Prokop family. Sandie Prokop is also the Director of New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Ag. Education. The children will also visit the Blenheim-Gilboa dam and power project, part of the NYC watershed.

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