By Chantal Kwade & Rebekah Williams
On February 23rd, MAP partnered with the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) to host a press conference to announce that they were awarded a $45,000 Farm to School planning grant from the USDA. This USDA planning grant will impact 34,000 students in over 50 Buffalo schools and seeks to increase local foods in school cafeterias.
MAP has been working with the BPS Food Service Department since January of 2013 to support implementation of the district’s Wellness Policy and to connect the Food Service Department with Buffalo high school students committed to improving school meals. In 2014, MAP staff chaired the BPS Nutrition Committee and connected the BPS Food Service Department with a group called the Youth Advisors Council, or YAC. YAC is made up of Buffalo students committed to improving school meals, these youth leaders steer the way to sustainable and healthy food in schools.
With the help of the USDA Farm to School planning grant, YAC youth leaders will continue to improve school meals by helping plan for farm-to-school in Buffalo. Through YAC, students will better understand where food comes from, learn about nutrition, and enjoy healthy local options, while supporting our farmers by expanding market opportunities for local and regional foods. This planning grant will help bring farmers and students together in a way that will be meaningful to them.
To learn more about Farm to School in Buffalo, check out this article, entitled "Bringing the Farm Into Schools", written by Aaron Lowinger of The Public.