October 27, 2021
As we celebrate National Farm to School Month this October – we’re excited to announce the new cohort of schools joining the New York Farm to School Institute!
Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) kicked off its third year of the New York State Farm to School Institute with a Virtual Retreat in August, the start of a year-long professional development program designed to aid districts in their farm to school efforts. The Virtual Retreat welcomed Ferene Paris Meyer of All Heart Inspiration as the Keynote Speaker leading a session elevating the importance of storytelling in farm to school. School teams participated in a deep-dive into developing their Action Plans for the upcoming year, and ended the Retreat hearing from a panel of local food advocates and youth leaders across the New York and New England outlining their farm to school journeys and the significance and outcomes of farm to school programs in their respective regions.
The Institute approaches farm to school holistically from three angles: Cafeteria, Community, and Classroom, and each participating team develops and refines their farm to school program based on these areas. The Institute’s focus on the 3Cs helps schools to develop lasting, sustainable programs and understand the “big picture” of how farm to school fosters community ties, develops opportunities for youth leadership, supports farmers and our local economy. Farm to school instills knowledge in students and families about the importance of eating local and eating healthy.
2021-2022 New York school teams range from across the state, serving 6,000 students from PreK to 12th grade:
- Ellenville Elementary [Ulster County]
- Newburgh Free Academy [Ulster County]
- Brooklyn Urban Charter (BUGS) [New York City]
- High School for Environmental Studies [New York City]
- Springville Elementary [Erie County]
- P.S. 233 Langston Hughes [New York City]
- Marion Elementary [Wayne County]
- South Seneca [Seneca County]
- CAP Cayuga Seneca [Seneca County]
The Institute offers education, coaching, and training on local food procurement, community engagement, and agricultural education. This year’s New York Farm to School Institute is being presented in partnership with the Northeast Farm to School Institute, hosted by Vermont FEED (a Farm to School partnership project of Shelburne Farms and Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)).