New York’s fruit and vegetable farmers can be reimbursed for the harvesting costs of produce that is donated to a food bank in the state.
Farmers may be reimbursed for their labor costs in harvesting and packing produce, as well as packaging materials, when produce is donated to food banks. A new initiative, Glean NY, hopes to increase the donation of food from the farm, including produce that might not otherwise have been harvested, produce culled from packing lines and storage, and more.
Glean NY is a partnership of New York State’s eight regional food banks, Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York Farm Bureau, and farmers.
Occasionally, farms have produce that cannot be sold due to cosmetic blemishes, lack of market, or similar conditions. Food-safe produce can be donated to food banks. Donations do not have to be washed, sorted, graded, or packaged as for retail.
In many cases, the food banks’ trucks can pickup produce at the farm. In some regions, food banks have produce crates that can be dropped off at the farm; otherwise farm crates can be returned to the farm.
New York State’s food banks provide food for over 3 million people annually. Food is distributed through more than 5,000 local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other programs.
New York farmers donated more than 8.5 million pounds of produce, meat, milk, eggs, and other items to food banks in 2012, according to the American Farm Bureau Harvest for All project.
To make a donation, or for more information, call your regional food bank, or call the Food Bank Association of New York State at (518) 433-4505.
On the web: www.gleanny.org