WHAT: The Governor's proposal could revolutionize school meals, but we need your help to make it happen.
This year we have an unprecedented opportunity to put more schools on the path to purchase and serve healthy, local food to our children. As part of Proposal 15 of the 2018 State of the State, Governor Cuomo proposed to quadruple the current school meal reimbursement to 25 cents for schools purchasing 30 percent of their ingredients from New York farms, while also doubling the state's investment in Farm to School grants. American Farmland Trust and the statewide 'New York Grown Food for New York Kids' coalition strongly support these proposals and wish to see them included in the next state budget.
Read more about the proposal and what our coalition members had to say in Morning AgClips!
WHY: Farm to School is a win-win, improving the health of our children and supporting New York farmers!
- According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 1 in 3 children are obsese or overweight, a record high. Schools across New York State serve breakfast, lunch and after-school meals annually to 1.7 million children, and providing more fresh and minimally-processed foods to our students is an important way to improve health outcomes while instilling healthy habits.
- For food-insecure children, school meals may be their only dependable source of nutrition. Farm to School is an effective way to improve access to healthy food to our most vulnerable children.
- Each dollar invested in Farm to School activities stimulates, on average, an additional $1.67 in local economic activity.
- Opening K-12 schools as new market channels to farmers helps them diversify their business and remain economically viable.
ACT NOW: The New York State Legislature is is working NOW on the budget for the next fiscal year. Call and write legislators in support of more New York-grown food for New York kids!
This proposal was introduced in the Governor's State of the State, and we are urging the State Legislature to include this proposal in their one-house budget, to ensure a brighter future for our kids and our farmers. Take two minutes to call your Senator and Assemblymember to tell them that this issue matters to you and urge them to support this proposal in the one-house budget.
- Find your NYS Assembly Representative
- Find Your NYS Senator
- Tweet, post, share! Join the conversation using #NYFood4NYKids and follow FINYS on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.
Sample Script: "Hello, my name is [your name]. I'm a constituent in your district and a part of the New York Grown Food for New York Kids Coalition. I'm calling to urge you to include $10 million in funding to help incentivize K-12 schools to buy locally-sourced foods for school meals, and $1.5 million to help schools start and grow farm to school programs in this year's state budget. Farm to school is good for our children's health, good for farmers, and good for the state's economy. Thank you for your time and attention."