NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York state will be sending additional aid to storm-battered Puerto Rico in the coming days.
Newly elected New York Governor Kathy Hochul visited Puerto Rico to help donate backpacks and other school supplies to children on Friday.
She also announced that New York state will be sending additional support to the island country's agricultural industry by providing emergency food assistance.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets partnered with the New York Farm Bureau, to donate 19,000 pounds of food from New York farms.
"The devastation Fiona left behind is no match for the strength and resilience of our friends and family in Puerto Rico," Hochul said. "I thank our New York farmers who have consistently answered the call to support our neighbors in need, and I look forward to a more sustainable pipeline of fresh produce going to and from the Island for years to come."
The Reeves Family Farm in Baldwinsville donated pallets of butternut squash, pumpkins, potatoes, and other seasonal vegetables from neighboring farms. The Hudson River Fruit Distributor pitched in by donating 300 cases of apples.
This donation builds on the 37,000 pounds of food sent by Feeding New York State back in September.
"The farming community has a history of stepping up and supporting each other following a great loss at the hands of mother nature, whether we are separated by a farm fence or an ocean," New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said. "Our hearts went out to the people of Puerto Rico, and New York Farm Bureau worked quickly with New York State to do what we could to ease the burden. I would especially like to thank our farmers who donated fresh fruits and vegetables to help during a time of great need."
Hochul also announced a new trade partnership between New York and Puerto Rico.
New York will purchase Puerto Rican mango, papaya and seedless watermelon, while Puerto Rico buys apples, onions and cabbage grown upstate.
There will also be new courses on agriculture and research offered to students at the University of Puerto Rico through a joint program with Cornell University.
The joint program is a way to support the development of local agriculture in Puerto Rico so that the country can bolster its own food supply.
Puerto Rico imports the majority of its food and what farmers do grow is put in jeopardy when storms sweep across the country.
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