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Child Nutrition / Farm 2 School Update: 

  • Last Spring we created our District Farm to School (F2S) Team and applied to the Northeast F2S Institute.  We were accepted and attended a three-day summer retreat the last week of June. 
  • Our team members include Coach Cheryl Thayer from CCE Harvest NY, myself, Shannon Gilmartin, Tricia Miller, Kaitlin Sylvester, Nicole Lauer, Wendy Heslink, and Becky O’Connor (Erie County CCE F2S Coordinator)
  • At the Institute  we worked together drafting our values statement and creating our action plan to be implemented throughout the 18-19 school year.  American Farmland Trust (AFT) is supporting our plan with a $5000 grant to be used for this year’s F2S events. 
  • Shannon created and continually manages our social media pages, strengthening our community connection.  Follow us! FB: Hamburg Central Schools Farm to School Initiative; Twitter/Instagram: @HCSDF2S
  • We started this school year with Food Service staff training at Be Healthy Institute with Jill Chiacchia.  There we heard from farmer Dan Henry about the benefits of serving local produce in our meals; we had a knife skills class with Chef Tom Kunz.  Knives were provided by Cappi Hillyard from Dexter Knives.  
  • Attending Elementary Open Houses, we shared information on our program and fresh veggie salad with parents.
  • Working with Tricia Miller and Becky O’Connor, our CCE F2S Coordinator, we reached to area farmers and businesses to get more local products on our lunch menu. Zittels beef, NY produce, NY honey and maple syrup, Issa’s Pita Chips, The Perfect Granola, Upstate Farms milk, yogurts and string cheese are some examples of local items used in our menus.  Managers and staff in each of our buildings work hard to serve high quality meals to District staff and students every day!  
  • In the classroom and the cafeteria, throughout the District, students experience hands on lessons learning where food comes from with Tricia.  With the support of the Cafeteria Staff and Monitors, Tricia offers taste tests of the featured HOM recipes to students and staff too.  
  • Part of Gov Cuomo’s No Student Goes Hungry Initiative that passed in 2018 is the 30% Initiative.  Any New York State (NYS) Food Product purchased and used in the reimbursable meal for the  school lunch program may contribute toward the 30% NYS Initiative. A “NYS Food Product” is defined as:  1) A food item that is grown, harvested, or produced in NYS; or 2) A food item processed inside or outside NYS comprising over 51% agricultural raw materials grown, harvested, or processed in NYS, by weight or volume.   If our total NY lunch food purchases reach 30% of our total lunch food cost this year, we will get an extra $.19 State Reimbursement per meal served next year.  Each year we have to qualify and apply for the extra reimbursement.  For the last 40 years NYS reimbursement is $.06 per meal (which is the cost of the Carton for milk – no milk).  We are trying hard to reach that 30% goal this year! 
  • Tricia, Becky and I attend local events to make connections and bring ideas back for our program.  On October 23rd we attended the Buffalo Schools F2S Kick-Off, Chef’s Challenge that we plan on bringing to our District in Fall 2019.  We also attend conferences, local workshops and Taste NY events. 
  • We had our 2nd Annual Big Apple Crunch on October 25th.  All Elementary schools participated!
  • October 26th Tricia worked with Kaitlin to share F2S Learning Journeys with teachers for Staff Development Day. 
  • Nov 8th and 9th  our F2S team travelled to Hurley NY for a follow up Institute meeting, expanding our F2S network and plans.
  • Dec 13th Tricia, Becky and I attended a Taste NY event at Michael's Banquet Center, making more connections.
  • Jan 28th and 29th I attended our New York School Nutrition Association (NYSNA) Legislative Action Conference.   The conference had great workshops on F2S and the 30% Initiative.  There our District received a NYSNA Farm to School Award from NYS Ag and Markets.  Erie County School Nutrition Association (ECSNA) nominated me for the Council of Food Service Assn’s (CFSA) Silver Medal Award for accomplishments in Child Nutrition and work in F2S / NYS 30% Initiative.  I currently serve as President of ECSNA and on the NYSNA F2S committee. 
  • Currently, our team is working on planning sessions for the upcoming March Staff Development Day.  Utilizing pantry provided and working with a Cook or Cook manager,  teams will create a soup, salad or pizza TBD.  Items will be tasted by colleagues who can then vote on what they liked best in each category.  Winning recipes will be featured on April's menu
  • Seeds of Living Education (SOLE) has partnered with Erie County Agricultural Society to present the first Local Educator Development Day in Farm to School.  This event will be taking place on March 1st (8:00-2:30), in the Farm to Table Building at the Fairgrounds.  SOLE /Giving Garden Coordinator, Tricia Miller is hosting.  We are using some of our grant money from AFT from going to F2S institute to pay for 8 attendees to this event, myself plus seven teachers in the District.
  • F2S events to look forward to:
  •      Participating in the Middle School Family Food and Fitness Fair - March 27, 2019
  •      Participating in Burgerfest 2019 serving NY burgers and Hot dogs with local produce - July 20, 2019
  •      Hamburg F2S Chef’s Challenge - Fall 2019