Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Business

State funding available for school, farm cooperatives

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week said that $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.

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.

All 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 Mc- Cabe at meg.mccabe@agri culture.ny.gov.

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