American Farmland Trust
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
October 2018- September 2020
Farm-to-school programs in New York State and across the country have strengthened connections between local farmers and schools—bringing more healthy foods grown on local farms into school cafeterias.
Farmers gain access to new revenue streams through school sales while students consume more fresh food. In 2018, New York State proposed a “No Student Goes Hungry” program, which included two farm-to-school initiatives: doubling its funding for farm-to-school grants to $1.5 million annually and raising reimbursement for schools to purchase locally produced foods from farms. Under the new reimbursement policy, K–12 public schools that spend at least 30% of their school lunch budget on food from New York State farmers, growers, and processors would be reimbursed 25 cents per meal, up from 6 cents previously. American Farmland Trust (AFT) brought together the New York Grown Food for New York Kids coalition—a collaboration among public health, anti-hunger, school, farm, food, and environmental organizations—to expand State support for farm-to-school programs in New York. NYHealth awarded AFT a grant to grow the constituency of its coalition and build on the momentum of its campaign.