The Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) today announced that farms and co-ops located across Upstate New York have donated more than 34,000 pounds of milk, beef, fruit and vegetables to fellow New Yorkers in need.
In addition to the NY-sourced milk and food, packets of crayons and coloring books for kids have also been donated, and are being made available to families on Friday, May 1 at Senator Ramos’ district office in East Elmhurst, Queens.
The following donations were made possible by a partnership between Senator Jessica Ramos and a number of New York State farms:
- 1,700 gallons of milk donated by Dairy Farmers of America.
- 20,000 apples equaling 5,700 pounds donated by Farm Fresh First, Inc., which markets NY apples from over 100 apple growers throughout the state.
- 14,000 pounds of onions, 8,000 pounds of potatoes and 4,000 pounds of cabbage donated by Torrey Farms, Inc. (Genesee County) and the New York State Vegetable Growers Association.
- 2,880 pounds of blueberry and vanilla parfait yogurt donated by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., a dairy cooperative located in Western NY.
- 575 packs of Prang Crayons made with soybean oil donated by the New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, along with coloring books sponsored by New York dairy farmers and donated through American Dairy Association North East.
On Wednesday, April 29 a truck left Western New York packed with beef, vegetables, fruit, yogurt, crayons and coloring books. The truck stopped at Dean Foods in Rensselaer County to pick up 1,700 gallons of milk and arrived in Queens on Thursday, April 30.
Many areas in Senate District 13, including Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona and parts of Woodside and Astoria — are considered food deserts, making it difficult to obtain fresh meals. Additionally, there are few local food pantries that remain open in the area as many residents have fallen ill with COVID-19.
“In addition to the unspeakable loss of life caused by the coronavirus pandemic, two additional devastating tragedies are unfolding during this crisis — a spike in hunger as the economic pain takes its toll, and the breakdown of our food supply chain,” said Senator Jessica Ramos. “We cannot have hungry families in New York City, and farmers upstate dumping their product because they cannot sell it. Together with our farmer partners, we created our own network, and we will convert our district office into a food distribution hub to provide our neighbors with fresh produce and meals.”
Northeast Dairy Producers Association Vice Chair and Owner of La Casa De Leche Dairy Farm (Livingston County) Keith Kimball said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all – our families, our businesses and the greater New York community. By pooling resources and working together to adapt to unprecedented market disruption, we’re able to get milk, beef and produce in the hands of those in need. I’m proud to partner with farmers, co-ops and processors across the state to make this donation a reality, and thankful to Senator Ramos for hosting the event for families in Queens.”
Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms, Inc. (Genesee County) said, “Thanks to the
passionate employees on our family farm and our dedicated truck drivers, we’re able to donate 26,000 pounds of vegetables to families in need, including onions that Senator Ramos helped us plant last year. This public health crisis has changed life as we know it, but what we’ve learned is that no matter where you live – Buffalo, Plattsburgh, New York City and everywhere in between – we’re all New Yorkers and together we are New York Tough.”
Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) is an organization of dairy producers and
industry partners committed to an economically viable, consumer-conscious dairy industry
dedicated to the care and well-being of our communities, environment, employees and cows.