April News from Farm to Institution New York State

April 25, 2017

Big Boost for Farm to School Grants in the New York State Budget 

Good news in the recent agreement on the 2018 state budget is a big boost in funding for New York Farm to School with $750,000 for a third round of grants to increase procurement from New York farmers, support staff training and offer nutrition activities. It’s never too early to get your school district ready to submit a proposal when the application process opens up this fall!
The budget also includes $300,000 to continue the Drive for 25 Farm to School pilot project for a second year. Adirondack North Country Association coordinates the pilot and reported that in its first six months 16 schools spent nearly $58,000 on eligible foods grown in the region and state, plus an additional $18,000 in the local economy on local food related expenses. Find the interim report and much more here.

Farmers Learn from FINYS Farm to Institution Market Readiness Trainers 

Farmers in the Capital Region learned about selling to schools, colleges, childcare centers and food hubs on March 6th in Troy, NY. Read about the workshop and tours organized by Jennifer Koval, Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga, Regina Tillman, Schoharie/Otsego, Jared Woodcock, SUNY Adirondack and Darlene Yule, Capital District Child Care Council – all participants in the FINYS Market Readiness program. The day ended with a Farmer-Buyer mixer co-hosted by FINYS and Cornell Small Farms Baskets to Pallets. More workshops around the state are anticipated for fall and winter later this year. 

New York School Districts to Participate in 2017 Farm to School Institute 

Congratulations to Johnson City Central School District and Saranac Lake Middle School on being selected to participate in the year-long Northeast Farm to School Institute. Teams from each district comprising administration, cafeteria, classroom and community will receive training and coaching to build a Farm to School plan for their district. Interest from New York school districts has been high, with teams from Waterville, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, and Rondout Valley participating in the Institute in the last two years. FINYS is working with Vermont FEED and Hudson Valley partners to bring this successful model to New York State in 2018!

National Farm to School Announces State Partners

National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has announced its Core and Supporting Partners for all fifty states and US territories, and that includes FINYS as one of New York’s Supporting Partners! The Core Partner for our fair state is the New York School Nutrition Association, with School Food Service Director Artie Frego taking the lead. NYSNA will continue to support farm to school and farm to early care and education efforts in New York while serving as a liaison with the national network. NYSNA has been a core and supporting partner of Farm to Institution New York State since its beginning in 2012! Check out the New York Farm to School page.

NYC Food Policy Center Food Policy for Breakfast Series

If you are in New York City, you can enjoy some learning with your breakfast, sponsored by the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. Find all the details and registration on their website.

  • Thursday, April 27 The Impact of New York City's School Gardens
  • Tuesday, May 16  How NYC SchoolFoods Works from The Inside
  • Tuesday, June 6  Saving Regional Farms: Why Every New Yorker Should Care