At Torrey Farms in Elba Thursday, several agricultural competitors came together to do some good.

What You Need To Know

  • Upstate farms come together
  • Donate more than 70,000 lbs of food to NYC
  • Weekly donations to continue through the month

“Various dairy co-ops, farmers, whether they be apple, cabbages, onions and potatoes, we’ve consolidated a load to take for food distribution,” Maureen Torrey Marshall, of Torrey Farms, said.

COVID-19 has caused a hiccup in the supply chain, and in many cases dairy farmers have had to throw away milk.

“It’s disheartening to see our life’s work go down the drain," Chris Noble, of Craigs Creamery, said. "But we hope it’s just a temporary situation.”

Meanwhile many in New York City have been unable to access food staples. So for a couple weeks now, Upstate farmers have been pooling donations to send downstate to Queens.

“A dairy farmer made a phone call to another dairy farmer. And that dairy farmer called me the next morning and said you know, we need to help the people in New York City. They’re short on food there, they’re in food deserts,” Marshall said.

The latest truck was loaded up with 10,000 pounds of cabbage, more than 17,000 pounds of onions, nearly 10,000 pounds of apples and nearly 800 pounds of dairy products.

In total, they’ve donated more than 70,000 pounds of food to communities in Queens so far.

“We’ve worked on food bank donations over the years, and it’s really great to see the food go directly to the people in need in New York City,” Noble said.

The weekly donations will continue through the month.

“It’s the culture of the farming community. When someone needs help, no matter what it is, people pitch in. It doesn’t matter that we’re competitors, run different co-ops or different businesses,” Marshall said.