ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) - New York state has been awarded $2.7 million in grant funds to expand the emergency food assistance program.

The program will expand to remote, rural, and low-income areas currently underserved by the program.

The grant is part of the USDA's Build Back Better initiative to support and expand the country's emergency food network. That way, food banks and local organizations can reliably serve their communities.

"We have a moral obligation to break down the logistic and stigmatic barriers that block access to nutritious, culturally-relevant food for those who need it the most," Governor Hochul said. "I'm inspired by the creative strategies the food banks will employ to support food insecure New Yorkers, and we will continue to take bold action to ensure no New Yorker ever goes hungry."

The food banks will also establish and increase the use of mobile and pop-up food pantries.