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Senate Republican Conference Members Fight To Save Farm To School Incentive Program

ALBANY — State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, and members of the Senate Republican Conference have sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking for clarity and a reversal of course on any potential changes to the Farm to School Incentive program.

Recent information provided by stakeholders suggests that forthcoming executive policy will result in half of all New York schools losing eligibility for the program.

“Long championed by the Senate Republican Conference, the Farm to School Incentive program should be a shining example of how we can do good for our communities as elected leaders. The program helps families and children struggling with food insecurity. It helps struggling farmers who have been drowning in New York overregulation for years. And it helps schools put locally sourced food on the table for a bargain. It’s not too late, Governor Cuomo – you can and should reverse course to save the Farm to School Incentive program for the sake of all New Yorkers,” Ortt said.

According to information provided by New York Grown Food for New York Kids, the potential changes to the Farm to School Incentive would result in increased food insecurity and hurt New York’s farmers. While in the majority, Senate Republicans worked with the School Nutrition Association to adopt language in the state budget that provided an additional incentive for districts to source food from in-state growers and producers.

“Agriculture is one of the most important industries in our great state. We know that even the tiniest seeds of investment we plant as state lawmakers can return massive yields for all New Yorkers. I hope the administration reconsiders this potential change, because farmers, families, and schoolchildren cannot afford for us to go back at the precise time we should be moving forward to expand this program,” Borrello said.

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