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Farmers donate more than eight million pounds of food

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Farmers donate more than eight million pounds of food
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Millions of Americans go hungry every year. But thanks to farmers, thousands of New Yorkers will have their fill. As our Katie Gibas reports, thanks to the "Harvest for All" program, farmers' donations have provided nearly seven million meals this year alone.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- If you've ever been hungry, you know the empty feeling in your stomach is like nothing else. And millions of New Yorkers go hungry every day.

The Food Bank Association of New York State feeds three million people every year. And that number continues to grow.

"The recent SNAP cuts on November 1st equate to about $36 a month for a family of four less than they had before. And just before the holiday season, it's a very sad time for folks to be struggling even a bit more to make their money go as far as they can," said Sharon Smith, the Food Bank Association of NYS Executive Director.

Tuesday, the New York Farm Bureau and the Food Bank Association of New York State celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the "Harvest for All" partnership. Over the last decade, New York farmers have donated more than 31 million pounds of fresh produce, meats and dairy.

"It's just grown over ten years to where we're able to announce in one year 8.4 million pounds. If you figure over ten years, we've done about 32 million pounds, where 25 percent of our ten year goal was in one year," said Dean Norton, the NY Farm Bureau President.

That 8.4 million pounds equals nearly seven million meals. It was only fitting that the announcement came on Giving Tuesday, a national initiative to encourage people to donate to charities.

"The holiday season is a wonderful time for the community to come together and help their neighbors in New York State. But the need for food is there all year long," said Smith.

Norton added, "If 26 million meals in every state across the country were fulfilled because of the Harvest for All program and partnership with the Farm Bureaus, just imagine where hunger in the Unites States would be today."

And with just a few weeks left in the year, the Farm Bureau is hoping to exceed the 10 million pound mark.

For more information on Giving Tuesday or how you can help, check out the links below.

givingtuesday.org

foodbankassocnys.org

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