Bill S7452-2011

Establishes a farm-to-senior program to facilitate and promote the purchase of New York farm products by senior centers and other institutions for the aging

Establishes a farm-to-senior program to facilitate and promote the purchase of New York farm products by senior centers and other institutions for the aging.

Details

Actions

  • May 30, 2012: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 21, 2012: REFERRED TO AGING

Meetings

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Aging - May 30, 2012
Ayes (11): Ball, Farley, Golden, LaValle, Robach, Zeldin, Valesky, Addabbo, Avella, Stavisky, Hassell-Thompson
Excused (1): Diaz

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7452

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the elder law and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to establishing a farm-to-senior program

PURPOSE OF BILL: To facilitate and promote the purchase of New York State farm products by senior centers, and other institutions for the aging, under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office for the Aging.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of bill adds a new subdivision 16 to section 202 of the elder law to require the director of the office for the aging to establish a farm-to-senior program to facilitate and promote the purchase of farm products by senior centers and other institutions for the aging under the jurisdiction of the office. The office will make information about New York farm products available to farmers, farm organizations, and institutions for the aging interested in establishing farm-to senior programs.

A new subdivision 16 of the Ag & Markets Law would require the establishment of a farm-to-senior program where the Department would gather information from the Office for the Aging regarding senior centers and other aging institutions interested in purchasing NY farm products. This information would be made readily available to interested NY farmers, farm organizations and businesses that market NY farm products. The Department would provide information to the Office for the Aging and interested aging institutions about the availability of NY farm products. The Commissioner would also report to the Legislature on the opportunities for changes in law to facilitate the purchases of such products by senior centers, and other institutions for the aging.

Additionally, the Office for the Aging and the Department of Ag & Markets would coordinate to establish a promotional event to be known as New York Golden Harvest: Seniors Week to promote NY agriculture, and foods to seniors at senior centers, farms, farmers' markets and other aging institutions.

JUSTIFICATION: With the success of the 2002 Farm-to-School legislation and subsequent law, this legislation seeks to provide the same access for seniors, as the current law does to students, throughout New York State. Senior centers and other aging institutions under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office for the Aging are a huge potential market for New York farm products, however, it appears that only a small percentage of the food served in these senior centers originates from local farms. Increasing senior centers' purchases of New York produced food would help improve the bottom line of New York farmers at a time when the loss of farmers and farmland continues to accelerate because of low profits in agriculture. It would also

provide urban, suburban and rural seniors improved access to fresh, local nutritious foods

Fortunately, there is recognition at the federal level that fostering farm-to-senior marketing is important. The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agricultural programs. The majority of the grant funds must be used to support the costs of the foods that are provided under the SFMNP. State agencies may use up to 10 percent of their grants to support administrative costs for the program. Additionally, in New York State, there are laws that allow for bidding exemptions making it easier for schools to buy direct from local farms.

To build upon the efforts of the successful farm-to-school state law, seniors and farmers need the assistance of the relevant State agencies, (the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the State Office for the Aging) . This bill would create such a program to facilitate a working relationship for the purchase and promotion of farmers' products with local senior centers and aging institutions. For example, a website could be created where senior center food service directors and marketers of New York farm products could easily identify sellers, buyers and available products. New York State government should make every possible effort to maximize the use of government funding for senior meals to purchase nutritious, locally produced foods to benefit the health of seniors and our local economy and allow Upstate and Downstate, city and rural residents to support each other.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Existing federal and State funds would be used.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 120 days after it becomes law, provided, however, that the Director of the Office for the Aging and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets are authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date on or before such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7452 IN SENATE May 21, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, MAZIARZ, RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the elder law and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to establishing a farm-to-senior program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 14 and subdivision 15 of section 202 of the elder law, paragraph (b) of subdivision 14 as amended and subdivision 15 as added by chapter 263 of the laws of 2011, are amended and a new subdivision 16 is added to read as follows: (b) make recommendations, in consultation with the division of housing and community renewal, to the governor and legislature for assisting mixed-use age-integrated housing development or redevelopment demon- stration projects in urban, suburban and rural areas of the state. The director of the office for the aging and secretary of state shall estab- lish an advisory committee for purposes of this subdivision. Such committee shall include, but not be limited to, top representatives of local government, senior citizen organizations, developers, senior service providers and planners; [and] 15. to periodically, in consultation with the state director of [veteran's] VETERANS' affairs, review the programs operated by the office to ensure that the needs of the state's aging veteran population are being met and to develop improvements to programs to meet such needs[.]; AND 16. (A) IN COOPERATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS, TO ESTABLISH A FARM-TO-SENIOR PROGRAM TO FACILITATE AND PROMOTE THE PURCHASE OF NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS BY SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE OFFICE. THE OFFICE SHALL MAKE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO FARMERS, FARM ORGANIZATIONS, AND INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING INTERESTED IN ESTABLISHING FARM-TO-SENIOR PROGRAMS. (B) IN COOPERATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS, TO ESTABLISH A PROMOTIONAL EVENT, TO BE KNOWN AS THE "NEW YORK GOLDEN HARVEST: SENIORS WEEK", TO PROMOTE NEW YORK AGRICULTURE AND FOODS TO
SENIORS AT SENIOR CENTERS, FARMS, FARMERS' MARKETS AND OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE COMMUNITY. SUCH POWERS AND DUTIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, COMPILING INFORMATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS FROM SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE OFFICE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS AND DISSEMINATING TO THOSE SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTI- TUTIONS FOR THE AGING INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR FARMERS AND OTHER BUSINESSES MARKETING SUCH PRODUCTS. THE DIRECTOR SHALL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE ON THE NEED FOR CHANGES IN LAW TO FACILITATE THE PURCHASES OF SUCH PRODUCTS BY SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING. S 2. Section 16 of the agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5-c to read as follows: 5-C. (A) ESTABLISH, IN COOPERATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING, A FARM-TO-SENIOR PROGRAM TO FACILITATE AND PROMOTE THE PURCHASE OF NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS BY SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTI- TUTIONS FOR THE AGING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL SOLICIT INFORMATION FROM THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING REGARDING SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING INTERESTED IN PURCHASING NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE TYPE AND AMOUNT OF SUCH PRODUCTS SENIOR CENTERS WISH TO PURCHASE AND THE NAME OF THE APPROPRIATE CONTACT PERSON FROM THE INTER- ESTED SENIOR CENTER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE THIS INFORMATION READILY AVAILABLE TO INTERESTED NEW YORK FARMERS, FARM ORGANIZATIONS AND BUSI- NESSES THAT MARKET NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING AND INTERESTED SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE TYPES AND AMOUNT OF PRODUCTS, AND THE NAMES AND CONTACT INFORMATION OF FARMERS, FARM ORGANIZATIONS AND BUSI- NESSES MARKETING SUCH PRODUCTS. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE ON THE NEED FOR CHANGES IN LAW TO FACILITATE THE PURCHASES OF SUCH PRODUCTS BY SENIOR CENTERS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR THE AGING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING. (B) COORDINATE WITH THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING IN ESTABLISHING A PROMO- TIONAL EVENT, TO BE KNOWN AS "NEW YORK GOLDEN HARVEST: SENIORS WEEK", TO PROMOTE NEW YORK AGRICULTURE AND FOODS TO SENIORS AT SENIOR CENTERS, FARMS, FARMERS' MARKETS AND OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE COMMUNITY. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the director of the office for the aging and the commissioner of agriculture and markets are authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on or before such effective date.

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