From the racist terrorist attack in a Buffalo supermarket located in an area with high food insecurity, to the war in Ukraine causing blockage of grain exports, to the infant formula shortage in the US– recent news shows how vulnerable we are to food shortages.
We all feel the pinch when food prices rise and supply shortages disrupt our accustomed shopping, however those who are most vulnerable often have the least resources and feel the impacts of growing food insecurity more deeply, especially the elderly, infants and young children..
At the same time, the instability of world commodity prices and the disruption of supply chains by war, pandemic, inequitable subsidies to corporate farms, drought and extreme weather events have left some of our region's farmers tossed about by forces entirely beyond their control. Small farms all across our district are also insecure about the future and the stability of their markets.
I believe that New York State has the capacity to increase food access for urban and rural areas and to also, concurrently, revitalize agricultural markets, by encouraging the development of shorter food chains and producing more of our fresh foods closer to home. National agricultural policies are often aimed at Western and Midwestern farms that are larger in size and scale than our Southern Tier and Finger Lakes farms.
When I served on the Binghamton City Council, I brought fresh food to a food desert in the Northside Binghamton community by collaborating with local farmers and organizations that provided produce and other resources for establishing community gardens and that taught residents how to grow some of their own food.
There is nothing more basic than access to food. Food and farm security is essential to consider at every level of government. In this time of uncertainty, we must work together to provide for one another’s basic human needs. As your representative in Albany, I will dedicate myself to bringing our region together to ensure everyone has access to healthful, fresh foods, thriving farms and successful food producing and processing businesses.
Thank you for being part of our people powered, grassroots movement. With your support we can bring this vision to Albany!