Through the project “Sustaining Farm to School in New York State: A pilot program with special focus on food safety, producer partnerships, and nutrition promotion” the Food and Health Network partnered with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Broome-Tioga BOCES food service, and Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension to procure more fresh, nutritious, local food for Binghamton area schools.
The Food and Health Network played an integral role in connecting Broome-Tioga BOCES with producers throughout FaHN’s eight-county region and beyond who have the scale and product needed for a sustainable farm to school program. Collaboration co-facilitated by FaHN with FaHN members and partners like the Food Bank of the Southern Tier also help to overcome farm to school barriers like cost and transportation. FaHN also facilitated outreach for the project and helped in planning the 2013 Farm to You Fest! event in celebration of farm to school in Broome County.
As a means of connecting NYS farms to schools, this pilot program explored strategic methodology including:
- Food Safety
- Producer Partnerships
- Nutrition Promotion
Since the beginning of September 2013, Binghamton City, Johnson City, and Owego-Apalachin school cafeterias have been serving fresh, healthy food grown in New York State. Tomatoes from Benton Berries in Penn Yan, N.Y. and apples from Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen, N.Y. successfully made their way to student plates thanks to the collaborative grant program.