‘Growing Resilience’ Report Highlights New York Farm to School Efforts

American Farmland Trust released Growing Resilience: Unlocking the Potential of Farm to School to Strengthen the Economy, Support New York Farms, and Improve Student Health in the Face of New Challenges. This report revealed that in spite of challenges schools face in buying local grown food, continued state commitment to New York’s Farm to School programs could unlock $250 million in school spending on food from New York farms. This would result in bringing high-quality, local food to more than 900,000 students across New York while generating nearly $360 million in total economic impact statewide by 2025. This translates into a return on investment of $3.50 for every taxpayer dollar spent. The report builds on the findings of a report last year that evaluated the New York Farm to School Purchasing Incentive after its first year, by further fleshing out recommendations while considering the new and pressing challenges schools have faced during COVID-19, including budget shortfalls, lack of capacity, and supply chain breaks.