ALBANY — Farm to Institution New York State, or FINYS, a collaborative initiative led by American Farmland Trust, announces the selection of six schools to the inaugural New York State Farm to School Institute, an intensive year-long program for New York schools to develop and grow their farm to school programs.
“Reaching nearly 1.7 million students daily through school lunch programs, K-12 schools can play a critical role in both improving access to and consumption of foods grown and raised in New York,” says Erica Goodman, New York state deputy director at American Farmland Trust. “Through FINYS, we are excited to work closely with the inaugural New York State Farm to School Institute participants over the coming year to elevate their farm to school goals and help expand market opportunities for New York farmers.”
Participating New York Schools include:
• East End Farm to School Project (Southampton Union Free School District, Tuckahoe Common School District, Bridgehampton School District)
• Forestville Central School District
• Office of Food and Nutrition Services, New York City Department of Education
• Perry Central School District
• Tri-Valley Central School District
• Windsor Central High School
Participating schools will convene for a three-day in-depth training at the Omega Institute from Aug. 12-14, meet for a one-day gathering in fall 2019, receive coaching to support them during the year and be eligible for a Farm to School Implementation Award of up to $5,000.
School teams, comprised of school administrators, food service staff, educators and community partners, will receive support to enhance their technical knowledge on how to procure and prepare local foods, access to tools for community engagement and strategies to support classroom and culinary education.
The New York State Farm to School Institute is a project of Farm to Institution New York State, a collaborative initiative of American Farmland Trust, working to dramatically expand the volume of food grown on local farms that is served in institutions across New York. It is made possible thanks to support from the NoVo Foundation, the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation and members of the American Farmland Trust. Learn more at www.finys.org.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.
–American Farmland Trust