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State to purchase unused milk from dairy producers

Posted at 11:44 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 23:44:01-04

JAVA CENTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dairy producers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much closed, there's little demand. And no buyers means some have been forced to dump their product.

“We need to have restaurants, airlines, schools open back up, so our product will be used more,” said Pat McCormick, a dairy farmer in Java Center. He says, he understands the first priority for New York State is to keep everyone healthy.

For most dairy producers in Western New York, like McCormick, they haven't needed to dump their milk.

“We're always worried about whether we're going to get that phone call or not. We just got to take it day-by-day,” added McCormick.

Thanks to a new imitative by the state government, he may not get that call.

A program called the Nourish New York Initiative is designed "to purchase food and products from Upstate farms and direct it to food banks across the state."

The New York Farm Bureau released this statement on Nourish New York.

"This is just total waste to me. We have people downstate who need food. We have farmers upstate who can't sell their product. We have to put those two things together," said Governor Andrew Cuomo during his Monday COVID-19 media briefing.

“Governor Cuomo provided some much-needed good news today for the state’s farmers and our partners looking to feed fellow New Yorkers in need. Our organization has been advocating for food purchase programs at the state and national levels to address the surging demand for food assistance as well as to help alleviate oversupply issues that are burdening our farms because of the loss of markets in the food service industry."