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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $1.5 MILLION AWARDED TO 16 PROJECTS TO INCREASE USE OF NEW YORK FARM PRODUCTS IN SCHOOLS

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $1.5 million has been awarded to 16 Farm-to-School projects to increase the use of New York farm products in schools and boost the agricultural economy. As part of Round 5 of the Farm-to-School program, the projects will benefit more than 120,000 students in 144 school districts across the State. Funding for the Farm-to-School program is a key component of the Governor's 2020-21 Executive Budget and supports the Governor's No Student Goes Hungry initiative.
 
"This is a win-win that provides students with nutritious meals while also strengthening New York farms," Governor Cuomo said. "I'm proud to see the growth of this initiative that will also help encourage healthy habits in every corner of this great state."
 
The Farm-to-School program increases the volume and variety of locally grown and produced food in schools, provides new markets for New York's farmers, improves student health, and educates young people about agriculture. The program also supports the expansion of the NY Thursdays Program, a school meal initiative that uses local, farm-fresh foods on Thursdays throughout the school year.
 
The funding will be used to hire Farm-to-School coordinators; train food service staff; provide nutrition education in classrooms and cafeterias; purchase equipment to support food preparation; and support the purchase of more local farm products, such as fruits and vegetables, dairy, and beef used in school lunches. The list of organizations to receive Farm-to-School grant funding is below.
 
Western New York
  • Buffalo City School District: $70,812 for the Buffalo Farm-to-School is on the Move! project, which will integrate Farm-to-School activities across the cafeteria, classroom, and community by using a food truck to serve school lunches made with local ingredients to16 high schools on a rotating basis.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County: $89,911 for the From Carrots to Curriculum project, which will work with 6,584 students in12 school districts to create a sustainable Farm-to-School program.
  • Forestville School District: $100,000 for the Farm-to-School: Community/School Engagement project. Forestville Central School District will partner with Pine Valley Central School District to serve four schools, benefiting 996 students and 18 farmers.
  • Frontier Central School District: $88,459 for Frontier Farm-to-School Grant project, Frontier Central School District will serve as a central kitchen for 3 districts in Erie County to process, freeze and store local farm products. Potential to benefit 5,000 students in 3 school districts.
 
Finger Lakes
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County: $96,824 for the Seneca County Farm-to-School project, which will build on existing Harvest of the Month and NY Thursdays practices and ensure Farm-to-School activities for 3,287 students in four districts.
      
Southern Tier
  • Broome-Tioga BOCES: $100,000 for the Broome-Tioga BOCES Farm-to-School Warehouse Initiative, which will develop a central warehouse to alleviate a distribution barrier and significantly increase New York State procurement for 31,290 students in 15 school districts.
 
North Country
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County: $99,849 for the Farm-to-School launch in Lewis County. The project will allow the hire of a Farm-to-School Coordinator to implement the 3 C's of Farm-to-School: the cafeteria, the classroom, and the community, benefiting 3,957 students in five school districts.
  • St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES: $99,980 for the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Farm-to-School Program. The project provides value-added processing, technical assistance, and product distribution to 21 schools benefiting 25,000 students.
 
Mohawk Valley
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties: $100,000 for the Local Foods - Healthy Schools project. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties will collaborate with Capital Region BOCES to develop and implement a Pilot Farm-to-School program in five school districts to benefit 4,018 students.
  • Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES: $100,000 for the OHM Farm-to-School: Increasing Capacity and School Engagement project, which will work with districts to help them develop and execute local food implantation plans and develop infrastructure to facilitate these purchases. The project will benefit 9,258 students in 15 districts.
 
Capital Region
  • Capital Roots: $100,000 for the Capital Region Farm-to-School Initiative: Connecting Underserved Schools with Local Producers.  The project will build on an existing Farm-to-School project to connect their established local produce distribution system with local schools. It will also fund the purchase of a commercial peeler for processing root vegetables.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County: $100,000 for the CCE Saratoga County Farm-to-School Project Phase 2 project. Saratoga Springs Central School District will process and freeze NYS produce purchased from Pitney Meadows Community Farm to maximize buying power while produce is in season. Project will work with four school districts in Saratoga County to benefit 2,000 students.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County: $91,400 for the Farm-to-School Transportation of Fresh Produce project. Building on the efforts of a current Farm-to-School Grant, the acquisition of a refrigerated truck will allow the transport of NYS farm fresh produce to six schools benefiting 13,800 students.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington County: $88,686 for the Washington County Farm-to-School project, which will hire a Farm-to-School Coordinator to work with five school districts to increase access of NYS farm products in school meals and engage 3,275 students in Farm-to-School activities through farm tours, taste tests, and class lessons.
 
Hudson Valley
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County: $98,538 for the Southern Catskills Farm-to-School ProjectThe project will work to raise awareness of and demand for local foods in 10 schools benefiting 9,258 students. Students will receive education from local farmers and experience taste test seminars in their cafeterias.
 
Long Island
  • Southampton Union Free School District:  $99,389 for the East End Farm-to-School Project, which is a collaborative effort of three school districts on the South Fork of Long Island to benefit 2,000 students. The project includes working with 14 NYS producers to increase the capacity of schools to purchase and serve NYS farm products in school meals programs.
 
This is the fifth round of funding awarded to support farm-to-school programs in schools and educational organizations. Since the Governor launched New York's Farm-to-School program in 2015, 43 projects have benefited 526,000 students in 356 school districts.  In addition, funding provided in Round 3 and Round 4 of the program has resulted in school spending on farm products of nearly $4.4 million.

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