New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joined Assemblymember Phil Steck today at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to announce $500,000 in capital funding. This funding will be used for general facility improvements, including $250,000 for refrigerated docks, $100,000 for a training kitchen and cafeteria, $100,000 for ADA-compliant restrooms, and $50,000 for exterior signage and branding.
“I am incredibly proud to show Speaker Heastie the work my community is doing to ensure our neighbors’ most basic right is always met,” said Assemblymember Steck. “Food banks are essential to many of our community members, yet they are facing an increase in demand coupled with high operating costs. The volunteers and employees at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York continue to step up to meet this demand, and I am committed to working with my Assembly Majority colleagues to support their work.”
“I’m honored to be invited today to see all the work the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is doing to make sure no one goes hungry on their watch,” said Speaker Heastie. “For an increasing number of New Yorkers, food banks are essential to feeding their families. The Assembly Majority is committed to supporting the groups ensuring these families always have somewhere to go.”
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Steck began their tour of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York by looking at the Warehouse & Distribution Center to see how the facility maintains its distribution to other facilities around the community. They then met with the executive board to discuss the programs targeting children and seniors while stopping to speak with volunteers.
Tom Nardacci, CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, met with Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Steck to discuss the impact the funding will have on the food bank and its employees. “We are incredibly grateful for the strong support from Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Steck to help us modernize our warehouse and improve operations at our facility," he said. “The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York distributes 50 million pounds of food annually and our workers have worked tirelessly to serve people who are hungry in our communities. The Assembly has a strong commitment to alleviating hunger in our State and has helped to create and fund critical food programs such as Nourish New York, which allows us to buy directly from New York State farmers and provide healthy options for children, families and individuals in need.”
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Steck also met with Director of Food Industry Partnerships Joanne Dwyer to discuss the Nourish New York program. The Nourish New York program was created through legislation passed by the Assembly Majority to connect food pantries to New York farmers, allowing farmers stable income and families access to healthy produce. The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 Budget included $50 million for Nourish New York.