Record-breaking USDA Farm to School Funding, Schools Selected for NYS Farm to School Institute, and more!

August 1, 2019

Six Schools Selected for the NYS Farm to School Institute 

We are excited to announce the selection of six schools to the inaugural New York State Farm to School Institute, an intensive year-long program for New York schools to develop and grow their farm to school programs! Participating schools include: 

  • East End Farm to School Project (Southampton Union Free School District, Bridgehampton School District, Tuckahoe Common School District)
  • Forestville Central School District
  • Office of Food and Nutrition Services, New York City Department of Education
  • Perry Central School District
  • Tri-Valley Central School District
  • Windsor Central High School

Read more about the NYS Farm to School Institute here.

Record-breaking USDA Farm to School Grant Funding

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today the award of more than $9 million in USDA Farm to School Program grants that will increase the amount of healthy, local foods served in schools and create economic opportunities for nearby farmers. This year marks an all-time high of funding and projects in the program, with grants supporting 126 selected projects across 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These projects are expected to serve more than 3.2 million students in over 5,400 schools. Read more about the program.

Among the awardees are eight New York state projects that received almost $700,000 in funding. See the full list of awardees and project summaries here.

Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced in Congress 

The Farm to School Act of 2019 was introduced at the end of June by a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to increase mandatory funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program from $5 million to $15 million, and to increase the max grant award to $250,000, and prioritize grant proposals that engage beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and serve high-need schools. Read more here


Olivia Blanchflower is the Director of Wholesale and Distribution for GrowNYC. In this role, she oversees Greenmarket Co., GrowNYC’s local food hub and wholesale distribution program, which purchases product from regional producers for distribution to wholesale buyers in New York City, and its related food access programs, Youthmarket and Fresh Food Box. Prior to the establishment of Greenmarket Co., Olivia managed the Youthmarket program, GrowNYC’s network of youth-run urban farm stands, and worked on a number of other food access projects including healthy corner store work and Fresh Food Box collaborative buying program. Olivia is a member of LEAD New York’s Class of 2017, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College.