The state Department of Ag and Markets has awarded Seneca County Cooperative Extension $99,994 to renew its Farm to School program.
CCE develops recipes, nutritional information for all four Seneca County School Districts
The program encourages the use of locally-grown foods in the county’s 13 schools and provides nutrition education to students and parents.
The New York State Farm to School Program was created by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to, “connect schools with local farms and food producers to strengthen local agriculture, improve student health, and promote regional food systems awareness”.
All four school districts in Seneca County – Waterloo, Seneca Falls, Romulus, and South Seneca – were awarded one of six New York State Ag & Markets grants to develop farm-to-school programming with oversight from Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The goals of the grant are to increase consumption of local produce by the students for positive health outcomes, increase the variety of local products being offered on school menus, increase the number of local farmers selling to schools, and increase awareness of the local food system in the Finger Lakes area.
Cooperative Extension nutrition educator Mo Tidball says CCE was interested in promoting locally-grown foods in the schools before the program formally began.
Nutrition Educator Candace Riegel says the program has expanded to include more nutrition information since she came on board four years ago.
State Ag Commissioner: Grants ensure access to healthy foods
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said “New York State’s Farm-to-School program helps schools overcome some of the challenges they may face in sourcing products locally, and makes it easier for them to increase the use of New York-grown foods straight from the farm. The projects awarded today will help to ensure that our students have access to fresh, healthy foods, increase students’ understanding of where their meals come from, and benefit our local agricultural economies statewide. I’m excited to see these projects come to fruition and look forward to continued connections between New York’s schools and farmers moving forward.”
Watch my full Inside the FLX conversation with Mo Tidball and Candace Riegel below.