Maureen Donohue, Southwestern Central School superintendent, will serve on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state Anti-Hunger Task Force.
The group will develop and implement action-focused recommendations to combat hunger and improve access to locally grown and produced fresh foods.
"The New York State Anti-Hunger Task Force will be a key resource and tool in our ongoing efforts to eliminate hunger in New York," Cuomo said. "By bringing experts, officials and advocates to the same table, we can enhance the effectiveness of our fight against hunger by better coordinating the significant public and private resources already dedicated to this important issue. Hunger in New York is a long-term problem that cannot be solved in a matter of weeks, so this Task Force is the right step towards developing lasting solutions to increase access to food for those in need and build healthier and more prosperous communities. In the 21st century, it is simply intolerable that one million New York children are going to bed hungry and so many households are struggling to put food on the table. I thank the members of the Task Force for their dedication and service."
Nearly 14 percent of New York households struggle with hunger, and at least 1 million New York children live in households that do not have regular and consistent access to food. Yet nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers who are eligible for food stamps do not receive them.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will develop strategies to:
Maximize resources to fight hunger in New York State by increasing participation in federally funded programs like SNAP, school breakfast and school lunch;
Use public/private partnerships to increase outreach and leverage the power of government, businesses and the non-profit sectors working together; and
Improve access to quality, healthy food through the use of New York farm products and locally produced goods to combat hunger while creating jobs and supporting economic development.
The Anti-Hunger Task Force will be chaired by Margarette Purvis, Food Bank of New York City president and CEO, and will include experts in hunger and nutrition, anti-hunger advocates, service providers, representatives of the agriculture industry, local government and education officials, representatives of the non-profit and private sectors, and members of Cuomo's Cabinet.
"I thank Governor Cuomo for this appointment and for his leadership on this important issue," Purvis said. "Since the Great Recession, hunger has reached unprecedented levels in our state and city. Recent cuts to the vital food resources the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides low-income New Yorkers makes this a time of particularly urgent need. In forming this Anti-Hunger Task Force, Governor Cuomo's leadership will provide an excellent opportunity to meet this moment by marshalling our state's resources to strengthen New York's response to hunger and shore up our safety net."