You may have noticed a new apple symbol on our school lunch calendars; this is the mark of an exciting new initiative BCSD is taking part in. An apple appears on school menu items to indicate an item we are sourcing from local New York State farmers and producers.
The New York State Farm-to-School Program was created to connect schools with local farms and food producers to strengthen local agriculture, improve student health, and promote regional food systems awareness.
To incentivize school districts to use more New York State farm products, the NYS 30% Initiative increases the reimbursement schools receive for lunches from 5.9 cents per meal to 25 cents per meal for any district that purchases at least 30 percent ingredients for their school lunch program from New York farms. School districts that have reached the 30 percent threshold can apply for reimbursement.
This week, a representative from Smith Packing Company of Utica, NY visited the high school to give students a preview of the NYS beef products Food Services will be serving this year. These products will include; hamburgers, hot dogs, salami, bologna, and ground beef. Additional products may be added as they become available throughout the school year.
BC also sources a variety of lunch menu items from New York State farms; apples and cider from Samascott Orchards, onions from Fox Creek Farm, milk from Midlands Farms, and yogurts and cheese sourced from NYS milk. This list will grow as more local produce becomes available.
“I am excited for the opportunity this initiative provides. It allows our food service teams to serve the students delicious, locally grown food from farmers around the state. It gives BC the opportunity to strengthen the local economy while providing fresh, nutritious school meals.” said Bethlehem Food Services Director, Jaclyn Adler, RDN.
To view school menus for all of BC’s schools, please visit the Food Services Page.