North country farms help feed downstate

WWNY North country farms help feed downstate

TOWN OF RODMAN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The owner of Lucki 7 Livestock Company has been on a mission to get north country agricultural products to people in need on Long Island.

"I recontact the other people that have the products - the other families that are putting this together and we redistribute. It's become a really business-saving venture for many of us," said Stephen Winkler, owner of Lucki 7 Livestock Company.

Business-saving because many farmers have seen drastic reductions in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. They haven't been selling to usual customers like schools and restaurants.

But now, a state program that feeds the needy by supporting local farmers has businesses shipping thousands of pounds of dairy, along with meat and other products, to downstate food banks. It's a much needed economic boost estimated around $18 million.

Jefferson County Agricultural Coordinator Jay Matteson says he is surprised how much this program has helped.

"This money's coming in and is going out to all of the local communities and it's going out to help pay taxes and so on. It's huge," he said.

Farms like Lucki 7 Livestock Company have helped get local food marketed and into the areas that need it the most.

“We are supplying it to people in need with local trucking companies and local distribution companies. It’s really a great New York state project,” said Winkler.

He says he’s happy local farms are making money through this program. But, he says the most important thing is getting food to those who need it most.

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