(Albany) - Assemblyman José Rivera, (D-Bronx), the Chair of the Assembly Task Force on
Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy, is pleased that the New York State Council on Food
Policy, established through Executive Order by Governor Spitzer in May of this year, has begun its work.
The Council consists of agency commissioners and non-governmental appointees with
expertise in nutrition, agriculture, labor, industry, education and other areas. The creation
of such a Council had been a goal of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and
Nutrition Policy for over 20 years and the Task Force developed legislation, (A.4368)
co-sponsored by Rivera, which the Governor's Executive Order closely follows. The Task
Force participated in Governor Cuomo's similar Council in 1988.
According to Rivera, "Over the years the Task Force has developed legislation and
budget initiatives that have laid the groundwork for food policy in our State. Direct marketing
of farm products, school food and nutrition, funding for anti-hunger programs, obesity
prevention, farm-to-school efforts, food safety, food allergies, and eating disorders treatment
are issues for which the Task Force has sponsored laws and funding. Much of that work was
a result of goals and objectives established by those involved in the original Food Policy
Council. As we move forward with a new Council, it is important that we know where we came
To develop policy proposals the Task Force frequently used the recommendations from the
Five-Year Plan developed under the old Food Policy
Council. More recently, the Task Force sponsored a Public
Hearing on New York State Food Policy seeking input on what goals and objectives a new Council
might work towards. We hope these documents are useful to the members of the new Council, and to food policy
advocates, as they work to develop comprehensive, coordinated policies with the goal of
providing a plentiful, accessible, affordable, safe and nutritious food supply comprised of
locally produced foods as much as possible.