Help New York Schools Serve More Fresh, Healthy New York Grown Food to New York Ki
In 2018, American Farmland Trust and the New York Grown Food for New York Kids coalition worked closely with Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to double funding for the Farm to School Grants program while creating a ground-breaking Farm to School incentive program which quadruples the state’s per-meal reimbursement for schools that spend 30 percent of their lunch budget on food from New York farms. In practice, these two programs work closely together to help schools purchase and serve more healthy, New York grown food in school cafeterias while also supporting our state’s farmers.
In the FY2020 State Budget, the coalition advocated to secure continued funding the Farm to School Incentive Program.
How You Can Help
- Stay tuned for action alerts from the New York Grown Food for New York Kids coalition! Sign up here.
- Share the Farm to School Communications Toolkit for New York Schools, to encourage schools to share their program successes.
Public Health and Economic Benefits of Farm to School
- According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 1 in 3 children are obese or overweight, a record high. Schools across New York State serve breakfast, lunch and after-school meals annually to 1.7 million children, and studies show that providing more locally-grown, fresh and minimally-processed foods to our students is an important way to improve health outcomes and academic performance 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 for our most vulnerable children.
- According to the National Farm to School Network, each dollar invested in Farm to School activities stimulates, on average, an additional $1.67 of local economic activity.
- Opening K-12 schools as a new market channel helps farmers diversify their business and remain economically viable and resilient.
Photo by Josh Baldo, taken at Buffalo Public Schools