Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Building More Diverse and Equitable New York Food Systems

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

March 14, 2023





In Progress


The nation’s food system—including New York’s—has longstanding and deep racial disparities.

As of 2017, farmers and producers of color made up 1.3% of all food producers in the State. Farmers and producers of color also tend to have smaller operations, making it difficult for them to compete with large farming businesses. At the same time, Black growers produce a higher percentage of nutritious food and vegetables than most other farmers and feed the State’s most marginalized and low-income communities by providing and donating fresh food. Diversifying and strengthening New York’s growers and producers can help ensure a consistent source of healthy, local foods for all New Yorkers. Small and mid-size farmers need greater capacity to participate in food system planning efforts and to compete for contracts with large institutions that serve high-need New Yorkers, such as schools and hospitals. In 2023, NYHealth awarded BFU-NYS, through fiscal sponsor Farm Training Collective NYC, a grant to advance policies and funding streams to improve the diversity and resiliency of New York’s food system.

Under this grant, BFU-NYS will leverage its membership of more than 100 farmers to share resources, promote peer learning, and conduct collective advocacy, as well as strengthen the ability of Black farmers to better compete in the institutional food marketplace. BFU-NYS will capture and share actionable data by contracting with a data consultant to develop an interactive map of Black farmers and food business locations and their production and growing capabilities. The data will show which businesses and farms are eligible to participate in local and regional institutional food contracts. This mapped data will also be used to target advocacy strategies and partnership-building activities. BFU-NYS will provide technical assistance and opportunities for its members to learn more about agribusiness, food systems justice, and contracting opportunities. Finally, BFU-NYS will continue its existing partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council to conduct policy advocacy for Black farmers.