Six New York Farm to School programs receive awards

Dec 30, 2015

Awards will help students eat more locally grown food

By Diego Flammini,

In an effort to give students throughout New York’s schools the proper nutritional tools to enhance their learning capabilities, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced six Farm to School programs as recipients of financial support.

“Learning healthy eating habits now will serve our children for their entire lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Farm to School initiative encourages thoughtfulness about what we eat and leads to better choices when it comes to nutrition. This program simultaneously educates our youth, promotes locally grown foods, and strengthens the connection between farms and schools across the State.”

The programs help schools train staff on meal preparation, provide outreach avenues to producers, educate students and parents, and purchase proper equipment for storage, transportation and preparation.

Six programs were chosen from a pool of 20 that submitted proposals for financial awards. They include:

  • $60,800 for the Schoharie Valley Farm to School Project to use towards increasing the number of specialty crop growers that sell to schools through the hiring of a Regional Farm to School Coordinator.
  • $74,970 for the Southern Tier Farm to School Project to hire a Farm to School Coordinator and a Farm to School Consultant. Their responsibilities will include recruiting farms and processors within a six-county region.
  • $36,179 for the Seneca County Farm to School Program to employ a Farm to School Educator to increase the number of producers selling to schools. They will also provide Good Agricultural Practices certification to farmers.

Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Health Commissioner commended Governor Cuomo on the announcement and is encouraged about the relationship between farmers and students.

“It is a symbiotic relationship that benefits our local agricultural economy and ensures that our schoolchildren get the nutrient-rich foods they need from local sources,” he said. “Good nutrition remains a cornerstone of health and well-being.”

Join the discussion and tell us your thoughts about Governor Cuomo’s investment into Farm to School programs. What kinds of things should be featured on cafeteria menus?

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