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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Monday, October 22, 2018
NYSED Farm to School Newsletter - October 2018

Celebrate National Farm to School Month

National Farm to School Month is a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools, food and local food! Farm to school enriches the connections communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at school and early care and education settings. School meals + local food = a win for kids, farmers & communities
This October, pledge to take action for Farm to School!

Everyone can celebrate National F2S month by telling @FarmtoSchool how you're supporting #farmtoschool in your community & you could win prizes for your school!


On Thursday Oct 25th, NYSED CN Staff & friends will be taking over the NYSED building staircase once again to participate in the FarmOn! Big Apple Crunch! You too can coordinate a group to join the millions of New Yorkers around the state and take a coordinated "CRUNCH" out of a NY grown apple in effort to "Keep Farmers Farming" and inspire the community to eat local! Learn more about hosting your own crunch at and sign up for the Big Apple Crunch challenge to be eligible to win $1,000 for a FarmOn! Victory Garden for your school.

FarmOn! Big Apple Crunch

A visit to the farm...

Field trips are a great way to celebrate Farm to School month and teach students about where our foods comes from. In addition to connecting students with their local food and agriculture system; fields trips to local farm, processing facilities, or community gardens are equally beneficial for school food service directors. This summer's Managing Your Child Nutrition Program training earmarked an entire day to Farm to School programming by providing a morning Procuring Local Foods workshop followed by a field trip to tour Dinitto Farms in Marcy, NY and North Star Orchards in West Moreland, NY. Look out for the announcement of next year's training on the CN website.

USDA Farm to School Census: Coming Winter 2019

In order to establish realistic goals with regard to increasing the availability of local foods in schools, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) conducted the first nationwide Farm to School Census (the Census) in 2013 to serve as a baseline for data collection on farm to school efforts and conducted a second progress. The thrid census has been scheduled to be conducted by FNS in February 2019 for school year 2017-2018 to further assess the impact of farm to school across the nation.

Communication about the Census will be sent to SFA Food Service Directors (FSDs) from an FNS contracted research firm, Abt Associates, and NYSED. FSDs are strongly encouraged to collaborate with other entities within the district, such as vendors, school garden coordinators, foodservice staff, or teachers, to obtain the most accurate data. Check out the USDA's Farm to School Activity Tracking Sheets to get a head start on gathering information which will be asked as part of the census and thus assist you complete the survey more easily.

Questions to prepare for:

  • Your district's definition of "local"
  • Amount of money spent on local purchases
  • Most common locally purchased products
  • Sources of local products
  • Benefits & challenges of participating in F2S
  • Edible school gardens
  • Salad bars

The Census is currently available at:

REMINDER: All SFAs, regardless of farm to school participation should complete the census

The FY2019 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open to applicants!

On an annual basis, the USDA awards competitive Farm to School grants to be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing Farm to School programs. FY 2018 grant awardees include schools and districts (large & smal, rural & urban), Indian Tribal Organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, non-profit entities, and state and local agencies.

2018 NYS Grant Awardees:

  • Hudson Valley Seed Inc.
  • NYC Dept. of Education, School Food
  • The Renaissance Charter School
  • Farm to Institution NYS (FINYS) & NYSED partnership

Grant Opportunities Available NOW:

Visit us at:

for the most currect F2S info, including resources & guidance, training, grants & funding opportunities!

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.