Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes Appointed Chair of Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
Albany - Speaker Sheldon Silver has appointed Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) Chair of the Assembly's Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. A Buffalo native, Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes is a former Erie County Legislator who brought a food market, and fresh fruits and vegetables, to a "food desert" in her community.
The Speaker asked Peoples-Stokes to lead the Assembly's efforts to address the food and nutrition problems facing our State. The issues she plans to work on include: increased demand for food assistance for struggling working families and seniors; improving information about food quality and safety for consumers; nutrition-related health problems such as diabetes and obesity; and, building connections between our farmers and urban consumers. Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes looks forward to utilizing the Task Force to improve the affordability, accessibility, and quality of food available to residents of the 141st Assembly District in Buffalo and every community across New York State.
According to Peoples-Stokes, "I am honored that the Speaker has asked me to take responsibility for this Task Force and these important statewide issues. I plan to develop policies and programs to benefit consumers, nutrition and health programs, farmers and farmworkers, and food businesses at home and around the State. Food businesses present a great opportunity for entrepreneurship, economic development and job creation. Everyone deserves good food but too many of our families and seniors find it difficult to obtain a healthy diet. We need to make sure that food assistance programs such as school food, meals-on wheels or SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) are available to all those in need. We also need to provide a healthy food environment and nutrition and health education to help prevent the negative consequences of a poor diet for individual health and to prevent escalating health care costs. I look forward to working with my colleagues in State government, with health and nutrition professionals, with anti-hunger and other advocates, farmers, labor and business to increase the consumption of high-quality, nutritious New York-produced foods to everyone's benefit."
In past years the Task Force has worked to add millions of dollars in funds to the State budget for nutrition assistance programs and obesity and diabetes prevention, sponsored laws to address childhood obesity and expand school breakfast programs, and promoted the growth of farmers' markets and NY's farm-to-school efforts.