Foodlink learned on Jan. 5 that it was one of 12 organizations to receive “Farm to School” grant funding through New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The $98,000 award will be used to purchase equipment for our Value-Added Processing Center, where we slice thousands of apples daily and work with distributors to provide healthy snacks for local schools. Funding also will be used to bolster staffing and allow us to obtain the next level of certification necessary to expand our operations.
Foodlink was one of two organizations in the Finger Lakes region to receive funding — the other being Seneca Cornell Cooperative Extension, which received $89,442.
“This investment continues our efforts to help our youngest New Yorkers learn healthy eating habits while also supporting the state’s agricultural industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “The program is a win-win for our communities and with $1 million awarded to projects across the state, we are helping to create a stronger, healthier New York.”
Other highlights from the governor’s press release:
- The Farm-to-School program helps Kindergarten through Grade 12 schools connect with local farmers, increase the use of locally grown food on school menus, improve student health, and educate young people about agriculture.
- The projects will benefit 219,471 students in seven regions across the state.
- The program also supports the expansion of the NY Thursdays Program, a school meal initiative that uses local, farm-fresh foods on Thursdays throughout the school year.
- This is the third round of funding awarded. In his 2018 State of the State this week, Governor Cuomo proposed doubling the state’s investment in the program to $1.5 million.