Grape News for New York Schools!

Grape-to-School Pilot Program Launches

This month, American Farmland Trust joined Armor Elementary School in Hamburg Central School District for a special New York Thursdays lunch. Hamburg is one of ten school districts across the state featuring a taste test of New York State Grown & Certified Concord Grape Juice this spring as part of the Grape-to-School Pilot Program. Developed in partnership with the State of New York, Grape-to-School builds upon existing Farm to School and No Student Goes Hungry initiatives in New York to help introduce New York State Grown & Certified Concord Grape Juice to schools as an additional option to help reach their New York grown foods purchasing goals. 

In Hamburg, the featured "Growing Grape" juice cups, processed by New York Juice Company with Concord grapes sourced from Westfield Maid Cooperative, were part of a locally-sourced lunch that included beef hot dogs from Slate Foods, milk from Upstate Farms, Marquart Farms' New York Chips, and Bandit Beans from the Genesee Valley Bean Company. Visit our blog to read more about the Grape-to-School Pilot Program and see photos from the event!

Farm to School Webinar

Members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm to School Program Work Team put on a webinar about current opportunities and challenges for the farm to school movement. The webinar includes perspectives on partnerships between K-12 schools and local farmers and agribusiness, nutrition education, and agriculture in the classroom. The full recording is available on YouTube

Buffalo Farm to School Moves Toward 30% Goal

Last month, the Buffalo Board of Education awarded food-related bids to local farmers and small food producers in the amount of $1,113,527 - a giant leap forward for the district's Farm to School program. These awards, along with their New York dairy purchases and other New York food purchases, positions the district to achieve 30% local purchasing to qualify for the reimbursement incentive included in Governor Cuomo's No Student Goes Hungry initiative. Read more about Buffalo Farm to School and how they'll reach 30%


Sarah Brannen is the Associate Director of Programs for the Hudson Valley Farm Hub and has been a member of the FINYS Leadership Team since 2013. Sarah previously worked as a senior policy analyst at the New York City Council, where she advised the speaker on economic development and food policy issues. While there, she researched, designed, and launched the FoodWorks initiative to improve economic, health, and environmental outcomes in the New York City food system. 

While at the Council, Sarah also helped launch a kitchen incubator at La Marqueta in East Harlem and successfully lobbied the Mayor’s Office to begin a system of expedited inspections for new businesses. Sarah received a BA from Barnard College and her MPP from Johns Hopkins University. Learn more about the FINYS Leadership Team

Farm to Institution Opportunities