Food Service

Food Service Director, Cafeteria Manager, Dining Director, Executive Chef - whatever your title, you are a key player in the success of the farm to institution movement. 

Putting Local Food on the Menu

Visit the Local Food Buyer Learning Center

Locally grown and raised produce, meats, grains, flour and dairy products can add great taste and healthy choices to the menu. Plan your menu with your Farm to Institution team to tie in with special events,  lessons in the classroom and garden, tabling and displays by student clubs, culinary and nutrition activities, and “Support Our Farms!” messaging.

  • Partner with your county's Cornell Cooperative Extension, local non-profits and agencies to learn what is available from farms in your region and offer nutrition lessons with tastings from a variety of recipes. Students love to vote for their favorite foods!
  • Take the opportunity to get to know your local farmers, what they grow and their special story. Ask for samples, price lists, and ordering information.
  • If you are not able to buy direct from an individual farmer, ask your vendors to source from them, and to put the farms' names on their order form. If the vendor doesn't have much New York-grown produce to offer, tell them to check with NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, NY Apple Association, NY Vegetable Growers Association, and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
  • Work as a team with others in your institutional community on garden-based learning, culinary lessons and ethnic heritage celebrations.