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Food bank advocacy group gains new name, new leader

Food bank advocacy group gains new name, new leader

Food bank advocacy group gains new name, new leader
Dan Egan
Photographer: Photo provided

ALBANY — The Food Bank Association of New York State has a new name and a new leader.

Albany native Dan Egan took charge of the not-for-profit in March and brought the new name, Feeding New York State, with him. 

FNSY, which oversees nine food banks and food rescue organizations, is in charge of obtaining donations, building support and leading advocacy to fight hunger statewide.

Egan, who comes in as a former division administrator at the state Department of Health, said he has enjoyed his five months on the job so far and is already bringing his data work and lab experience to his new position.

The name change, Egan says, is a result of both aligning FNYS with the national Feeding America organization and better communicating what FNYS wants to do.

Other states have “Feeding” not-for-profits, like Feeding Kentucky or Feeding Pennsylvania, and Egan wants Feeding New York State to join the rest of the country with the name change. He also hopes FNYS is a more representative and less typical name than the one it replaces.

“A lot of state associations have the ‘Feeding’ name and we wanted to align ourselves with that,” Egan said.  

Egan says 11.5% of New Yorkers lack access to a secure source of healthy food, compared with 12.5% of all Americans.

While this is good for New York state, Egan wants to do better. He is hopeful that the nine food banks can help alleviate this hunger; the nine cover all parts of the state.

With the new role, Egan is hoping to increase food donations from farmers and producers. He said New York farmers lead the country in food donations with tens of millions of pounds of food donated, but he wants to increase that. 

Egan will also focus on increasing FNYS grants and pushing political advocacy. He plans on working with elected officials to fund FNYS.

“Millions of New Yorkers, including one out of six children, lack access to a secure source of healthy food,” Egan said. “Food banks have become an important part of our economy, alleviating hunger while preventing food waste. I am proud to be a part of Feeding NYS.”

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