St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Awarded $79,615 for Farm-To-School Project in Partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Awarded $79,615 for Farm-To-School Project in Partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County

Funding will help to create a partnership between 25 local producers and 21 school districts, benefiting 18,557 students.

Governor Cuomo announced today that St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES will receive $79,615 in grant funding for its proposed Farm-to-School program, which will operate in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County.

The funds will support the purchase of locally grown foods from 25 producers and growers in the region. Maria “Flip” Filippi, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s local food program leader, will assist in the creation and training of a local third party, private sector co-packer who will provide processing and packaging services at the Harvest Kitchen, a commercial value-added kitchen located at the Extension Learning Farm in Canton. The grant also provides for additional capital improvements to the Harvest Kitchen, including a walk-in cooler and dry goods storage space for finished products awaiting delivery, which is a key component of the distribution system. St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES will then transport the final products to 21 partnering school districts. This program will benefit an estimated 18,557 North Country students daily.

Patrick Ames, Executive Director of CCE of St. Lawrence County, said, “The Farm to School Project will have a huge impact on how local farmers access and deliver their product to the participating school districts. It will address many capacity challenges that previously served as barriers to the school market place, including processing, packaging, refrigeration and transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Artie Frego, Director of Food Service at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES said, “This program will be mutually beneficial for farmers, school districts, our local economy, and most importantly, the students we serve each day. Our plan is to utilize available resources to develop a systemic approach to processing crops in a way that each district will be able to procure and emulate.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the Governor’s proposal earlier this week to make changes to the school food policy, including boosting Farm-to-School programs. Under the proposal, school districts who reach a 30% threshold of products produced and processed locally will receive a 25 cent reimbursement rate.

For more information about St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, please visit www.sllboces.org.

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About St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services:

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES serves 18 school districts in St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties, New York, by providing cost-effective shared services, including career training for high-school students and adults, special education, alternative schools, technology education, and teacher training, as well as dozens of programs to expand educational opportunity and help districts operate more efficiently. The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES is committed to building futures and creating meaningful, successful lives through education, collaboration, and partnerships. For more information, please visit www.sllboces.org

About Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County functions as part of a larger state and national land-grant system that extends research-based information to local residents, families and the agricultural community. Extension is an integrated network including campus-based faculty, regionally deployed specialists and local county-based educators. As a result, Extension has access to current research findings from across the country and the world which it puts into practice by providing high value educational programs and university-backed resources. To learn more about the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, visit www.stlawrence.cce.cornell.edu .

Contact

Maria 'Flip' Filippi
Local Foods Program Leader & Harvest Kitchen Manager
mpf65@cornell.edu
315-379-9192 ext. 229

Last updated January 8, 2018