The donation provides nearly 9 million meals to New Yorkers through local food banks.

The New York Farm Bureau announced Tuesday that farmers statewide donated 10.63 million pounds of fresh food and farm products this year through the end of November. That is more than 1.6 million pounds of food compared to this time last year. The donation provides nearly 9 million meals to New Yorkers in need.

Farm Bureau and Food Bank Association of New York State announced the donation at the start of the 2018 annual state meeting in Syracuse.

The 2018 donation amount is expected to grow by the end of the month, with additional reporting anticipated from food banks. In addition, the New York Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee gave a $150 contribution Tuesday to the Food Bank Association of New York State.

The announcement at Food Bank of Central New York brought together members and agricultural partners, with farmers bringing local squash, eggs, apples, and milk to add to the donated products for the event.

The food is collected through the “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state. In New York, NYFB’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee and the Food Bank Association of NYS administer the statewide donation partnership.

The food is then distributed among the 10 Feeding America food banks throughout the state. This is the first year farmer food donations will qualify for a small tax credit of up to $5,000 to offset a portion of the costs to pick, package and deliver the fresh produce to regional food banks and pantries.