Weekly Feature



2017-10-12 / Business

Funding available for school, farm cooperatives

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week said $1 million is available for eligible school districts to support the growth of Farm-to-School programs across New York State.

According to the governor, the program helps kindergarten through 12th-grade schools connect with local farmers, increase the use of locally grown food on school menus, improve student health and educate young people about agriculture.

Officials from the Governor’s Office said that since Cuomo launched New York’s Farm-to-School Program in 2015, $850,000 has been invested so far to support 13 Farm-to-School projects that benefit 108 school districts across the state.

“New York will continue to provide funding to help schools build relationships with local farmers, instill good eating habits in our children, and support the state’s agricultural industry,” Cuomo said.

“This program has already had a significant impact on our youngest New Yorkers, and by holding the first-ever Farm-to-School Summit in the Southern Tier, we are increasing the number of schools serving locally-sourced meals and supporting a healthier, stronger New York for all.”

Applicants eligible for the third round of the Farm-to-School Program include kindergarten through 12th-grade school food authorities, public schools, charter schools, not-for-profit schools and other entities participating in the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program or the Summer Food Service Program.

Officials said the state is seeking proposals that will increase the capacity of schools to procure and serve locally produced food items in school meal programs.

Projects eligible for grant funding across New York’s school districts may include:

• Employing of a local or regional farm-to-school coordinator.

• Training programs for food service staff to increase knowledge of local procurement and preparation of locally produced food.

• Purchase of equipment needed to increase capacity of school kitchen and food service staff to prepare and serve locally produced food.

• Capital improvements to support the transport and/or storage of locally-produced food.

Governor’s Office representatives said the Farm-to-School Program is a major component of the state’s ongoing efforts to increase the amount of fresh, local foods served in schools and to connect New York’s farmers to new markets.

Applicants to the Farm-to-School Program must register and apply through Grants Gateway. Proposals must be received by 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

For more information about the Farm-to-School program, contact Meg McCabe at meg.mccabe@agricul ture.ny.gov.

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