New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) that calls for the establishment of a council that will ensure that all state residents have access to food grown by New York State farmers.
On November 23rd, the “Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act” became law. This new law establishes the New York State Council on Food Policy, which will be at the forefront of efforts that support our local farms and ensure that residents across the state will have access to fresh and healthy food. It will be tasked with identifying legislative, regulatory, and budget plans to expand local agriculture production, establish benchmarks for achieving objectives, and remove legal barriers that hinder New York’s agriculture and food economy. It also provides a method for farmers and schools to utilize the state’s farm directory for the purpose of connecting students to farm-fresh products and meals.
“In an agricultural state like New York, it is crucial that our laws and regulations are in full alignment with the wellbeing of our farms and farmers. That is exactly what the Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act sets forth,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that the gears of government work simultaneously to promote a food economy that works for all New Yorkers. As a longtime sponsor of this bill, I am thankful for Governor Hochul’ s favorable action. I look forward to continuing our work to address this issue during the 2023 Legislative Session with the anticipated passage of a chapter amendment that will codify and build upon the innovative programs, efforts and ideas of the New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy.”