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NY invests $1.5M in farm to school meals

NY invests $1.5M in farm to school meals

By Blake Jackson

New York is investing in healthier school meals and supporting local farms with a new $1.5 million Farm-to-School Grant Program. This program helps schools increase the use of fresh, locally grown ingredients in school meals (lunch, breakfast, snacks, and summer programs).

Benefits for Schools and Farmers

Improved Student Nutrition: Schools can offer fresh, healthy meals while teaching students about the source of their food.

Economic Boost for Farmers: Increased demand for local produce strengthens New York's agricultural economy.

Grant Funding: Grants range from $50,000 to $100,000 and can be used for various purposes:

  • Hiring staff for program development
  • Training on menu planning and incorporating local ingredients
  • Funding for taste tests and menu development with local products
  • Covering transportation costs, including vehicle leasing or purchase
  • Purchasing equipment and supplies for food preparation
  • Making permanent improvements to school kitchens

Eligibility and Application

Schools, non-profit organizations, and tribal organizations working with K-12 schools can apply. A dedicated portion of the funding prioritizes first-time program applicants. Proposals are due by June 27th, 2024.

This grant program builds on New York's existing commitment to a strong food system. Since 2015, over $8 million has been invested in Farm-to-School initiatives, benefiting hundreds of schools statewide.

The Farm-to-School program complements other efforts like the NYS 30% Initiative, which encourages schools to source 30% of their ingredients from New York farms, and child nutrition programs that promote healthy local food options in school lunches.

This investment reflects New York's focus on:

  • Strengthening its food supply chain
  • Combating food insecurity
  • Increasing access to healthy food in underserved communities

By connecting schools with local farms, New York fosters a win-win situation for student health, local agriculture, and the overall food system.

Photo Credit: farm-to-school

Western NY Vineyards struggle after frost Western NY Vineyards struggle after frost
Chevelle rocking the great NY state fair Chevelle rocking the great NY state fair

Categories: New York, Government & Policy

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