Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

January 13, 2010

Governor Paterson Accepts Council on Food Policy Report

Annual Report Outlines Recommendations to Improve Access to Healthy Foods

Governor David A. Paterson received the New York State Council on Food Policy’s annual report and recommendations titled, “Making Connections: Developing a Food System for a Healthier New York State.”  Authorized by Executive Order #13, the Council on Food Policy works to preserve and enhance agricultural food production in New York and to ensure that all New Yorkers have adequate access to safe, affordable, fresh and nutritious foods.

“The health and prosperity of this state has a direct correlation to the health of our people,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “We need to ensure that our citizens recognize the benefits of consuming locally grown foods and can readily access the fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables that are abundantly produced here.  The Council on Food Policy has been instrumental in improving existing food production and delivery systems in order to do just that.”

Over the year, the 21-member advisory council shares networks and resources, builds and capitalizes on collaboration opportunities, researches relevant topics, communicates with stakeholders, and serves as a vehicle for the citizens of New York State to communicate food policy matters to the Governor.  From those interactions, some of the significant steps the Council recommends New York State take in 2010 include:

  1. Join the campaign to end Childhood Hunger by 2015
  2. Support a strong Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act 
  3. Maximize federal funding for nutrition and food programs operating in New York

The Council also recommended twelve additional food policies that can be enacted to improve the health and prosperity of its citizens.  Those recommendations fall into the follow key issue areas, as defined by the Council and do not substitute previous recommendations, rather supplement them.  They include:

  1. Maximizing participation in food and nutrition assistance programs; 
  2. Strengthening the connection between local food products and consumers; 
  3. Supporting efficient and profitable agricultural food production and retail food infrastructure; and 
  4. Increasing consumer awareness and knowledge about healthy eating; and improving consumer access to safe and nutritious food. 

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Chair of the Council said, “The Council on Food Policy has been effective in ‘connecting the dots’ so-to-speak within our State’s food system.  There are numerous success stories outlined throughout the report that document the good work this passionate group of advisors has initiated, including collaborative efforts on both the public and private levels to increase access and awareness of fresh, local and healthy food.  I look forward to continuing to chair this exciting and rewarding group as it strives to advance and advice the Governor on matters related to food policy.”

For a copy of the Council on Food Policy’s annual report and all of its recommendations, please visit and click on “Report to Governor”. 
The New York State Council on Food Policy was created in 2007 with the recognition that in New York State, agriculture is a critically important industry; that hunger is a serious problem facing many families; that access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food is a serious problem, especially affecting children; and that there are significant environmental, health and economic benefits to the State and its residents from expanding agricultural production. At no time in recent history are these matters more prevalent in society than present.

To learn more about the Council on Food Policy, visit or contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets at 518-485-7728.


Photograph Available Upon Request:  Commissioner Hooker presents Governor Paterson with the New York State Council on Food Policy’s annual report and recommendations.  Please email to request a copy.

2010 Press Releases