Governor signs Sen. Ritchie’s bill to help state institutions to buy local food
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 2:48 pm

The purchasing power of state government can be put to work for New York farmers as locally grown foods will be bought for use in state prisons, hospitals and other agencies.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill sponsored by state Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) directing state officials to create a list of competitively priced food products available for institutional sale, giving state agencies easy access to farm fresh products.

State officials will also be required to regularly update their local food purchasing lists and measure state agencies’ compliance with directives to expand purchases from local food sources.

“Eating local is a big trend right now—and it can mean big business for local farmers and food producers,” said Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This legislation builds upon that movement, seeking to use the purchasing power of state government to help farmers grow,” she said.

“Not only will this measure promote nutrition by putting more locally grown foods in our prisons, hospitals and other state facilities, it will also boost the bottom lines of our state’s hardworking farmers.”