The New York School Nutrition Association (NYSNA) is asking the New York State Legislature to include funding in the 2016-17 Budget for an innovative proposal that would expand school children’s access to healthy food grown in New York and strengthen New York’s successful Farm to School program.
The New York State Farm to School Procurement Incentive (Bill #A9379) would reimburse school districts an additional 5 to 25 cents per meal, based on how much of the school district’s food purchasing budget was spent on New York grown foods each year.
- New York is in the top 5 producers in America in nearly 15 fruits, vegetables and dairy products – ranging from apples to sweet corn to milk and Greek yogurt. Farms producing these healthy foods and associated food processors and other businesses annually generate more than $46 billion in economic activity in New York, according to a recent report by Farm Credit East
- Schools in New York State serve 1.7 million school lunches and 500,000 breakfasts each day.
- School meal programs have not seen an increase in New York State funding in 40 years – it is only six cents per meal!
- For some children, the school meal may be the only source of nutrition that child receives. The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program (NSL/SBP) is an important component in promoting healthy eating habits in children, and puts school meals on the front line of combatting a national epidemic – childhood obesity.
- According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), 17 percent of New Yorkers under the age of 18 are obese and nearly 33 percent are overweight or obese.
- New York State's Medicaid program spends $ 4.3 billion a year on obesity and related illnesses - with $330 million of that being attributed to obesity in children
The New York State Legislature is working NOW on the Budget for the next Fiscal Year.
Please contact your NYS Assembly Representative and Senator and urge them to support the Farm to School Procurement Incentive (Bill #A9379) in their respective Budgets.
Other ways you can help build support for the Farm to School Procurement Incentive:
- Let your School Food Service Director know that you support Farm to School and this increase for their food purchasing budget.
- Tell your family, friends, school administration, board and parents' organization and ask them to contact State Legislators.
- Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspapers.
- Spread the word on social media, follow @GrowFINYS on Twitter and like our Facebook page
- Sign up for FINYS Updates to stay informed
For more info, contact Todd Fowler, NY School Nutrition Association, [email protected] (585) 657-6121
Photo courteousy of the Rock on Cafe' Broome-Tioga BOCES Nutrition program