WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $1.5 million has been awarded to 16 Farm-to-School projects, including almost $200,00 for projects in the North Country.
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.
The North Country projects included in the funding are:
- 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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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