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Local Foods

Local FoodsThe trend in local food consumption has been steadily increasing over the past decade. There has been a significant amount of growth in both direct-to-consumer marketing outlets, such as farmers' markets and community supported agriculture, as well as wholesale procurement. Harvest NY Specialists foster this continued growth through innovative programming and targeted business development consultations. With education and outreach on market readiness, good agricultural practices (GAPs) and operation develop, Harvest NY provides support to farmers to understand and implement changes to mitigate the barriers that often stymie the ability of small farms from participating in larger and more diversified markets.

The Harvest NY Farm to Institution Program offers an e-newsletter, Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter. This publication provides updates, resources, and insights for school Food Service Directors, Farm to School Coordinators, farmers and producers, and others working to support Farm to School efforts across New York State.






30% NY Documentation Requirement Guides and Recorded Webinars

Becky O'Connor, Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 13, 2020
30% NY Documentation Requirement Guides and Recorded Webinars

Harvest NY, with input from the NY State Department of Education, developed the 30% NY Documentation Requirement Guide and accompanying recorded webinars to prepare School Food Authorities for success in their 30% NY Initiative audits.


Harvest of the Month Marketing Materials

Becky O'Connor, Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 13, 2020
Harvest of the Month Marketing Materials

Harvest of the Month posters, newsletters, and infographics were created to help highlight and promote the consumption of locally-grown, raised, and produced foods foods. You can download, edit, and adapt the Harvest of the Month materials for your district or program's use.


Buffalo Public Schools Launches New Farm to School to You Food Truck

Becky O'Connor, Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 8, 2020
Buffalo Public Schools Launches New Farm to School to You Food Truck

On October 7th, Buffalo Public Schools introduced the newest addition to their nationally-recognized Farm to School program: The Farm to School to You food truck.


NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 18, 2020
NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database

The Harvest NY Local Foods Team is excited to announce the launch of the long-awaited NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database. This database lists all known eligible products as part of the New York 30% Initiative.


Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter

Last Modified: June 9, 2020
Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter

The Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter provides updates, resources, and insights for school Food Service Directors, Farm to School Coordinators, farmers and producers, and others working to support Farm to School efforts across New York State.


Planning Your Commodity Order Wisely Can Help You Reach the 30% NY Threshold

Becky O'Connor, Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 3, 2020
Planning Your Commodity Order Wisely Can Help You Reach the 30% NY Threshold

Article by Rosemarie Hanson, Trumansburg Central School District Food Service Director, and Gail Brisson, Trumansburg Middle School Librarian; originally submitted to FOCUS Magazine.

If you are trying to increase your purchases of local and NY State foods to achieve the 30%, the first place you should look is your commodity ordering. Read on to learn about how you can balance commodity foods with local foods to reach your NY purchasing goals.


Food-Service Friendly Recipes

Becky O'Connor, Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: May 5, 2020
Food-Service Friendly Recipes

To supplement the Harvest of the Month program, Harvest NY has curated a list of popular recipes from school districts. Expand your school lunch menu with one of these yummy recipes!


NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Team Leader
Harvest New York

Last Modified: September 3, 2019
NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Produce auctions in New York State have been formed so that produce growers have a way of marketing their product to quality minded buyers through open competitive bidding. A map of produce auction locations across the state is provided along with contact information. Auction days and times vary by location and by year. Contact the auction directly for the schedule.


NYS Farm to School Support Service Providers Contact List

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: February 26, 2019
NYS Farm to School Support Service Providers Contact List

Harvest NY has compiled a list of Farm to School Support Service Providers. The list contains people and organizations that can help advance F2S in a multitude of different ways including, but not limited to (1) F2S program development, (2) assistance with finding and getting NY farm products, (3) menu (re)development that incorporates NY farm products, and (4) best practices to bridge the 3C's of F2S (cafeteria, community, classroom). People listed serve in various geographic capacities, ranging from statewide support, to regional support, to county-specific support. 


Guide on How To Purchase at New York State Produce Auctions

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Team Leader
Harvest New York

Last Modified: March 9, 2018
Guide on How To Purchase at New York State Produce Auctions

A produce auction is a wholesale market for regionally grown produce. Currently there are eight produce auctions in New York State offering a wide variety of produce at competitive prices. This guide will provide basic instruction on the terminology of the auction, as well as how to purchase produce at these unique markets!


Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: July 7, 2016
Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

As part of the Harvest New York Buffalo Farm-to-School (F2S) initiative, 50 or so fourth and fifth grade students from Hillery Park Elementary School visited Burley Berries and East Hill Farms in Warsaw, New York to learn about where their food comes from.


Double Up Food Bucks Western NY Report, 2014-2015

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: April 4, 2016
Double Up Food Bucks Western NY Report, 2014-2015

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) uses existing infrastructure -- farmers markets and EBT - the mechanism SNAP recipients use to receive their benefits -- to improve access to and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income individuals and families and grow the local food economy by supporting purchases from local farmers.

In our 2014 pilot season DUFB was administered at 7 area farmers markets, spanning 3 counties. In 2015, the DUFB program expanded to 15 farmers markets, including a mobile market, spanning five counties.


Double Up Food Bucks 2014 Year End Report

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 19, 2015
Double Up Food Bucks 2014 Year End Report

Piloted in 2014, the Double Up Food Bucks program is viewed as a tremendous success in meeting program goals. Read a brief overview of the program successes realized at participating markets in 2014.


Western NY Food Hub seeks new produce growers to work with!

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 17, 2015
Western NY Food Hub seeks new produce growers to work with!

Eden Valley Growers (EVG) is opening their doors to new produce growers interested in selling through wholesale market channels! Dubbed the Western NY Food Hub, this business diversification will provide qualified growers with immediate access to wholesale markets. Based in Erie County, EVG is a vegetable growing farm cooperative that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Recognizing the increasing demand for locally grown food and the considerable assets the cooperative has, both in terms of infrastructure, sales and marketing, they are eager to provide Western NY farmers with a viable market for their produce.

Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Last Modified: May 8, 2015
Video: New York State Produce Auctions

The number of produce auctions in New York State continues to increase. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. To document the economic impact of produce auctions on agriculture, local businesses, family farms, and produce buyers, the Cornell Vegetable Program worked with Harvest NY to survey top sellers and buyers.

A new Cornell Vegetable Program video shares general information about produce auctions, how buyers and sellers use the auctions to expand their businesses, and how local communities benefit from them.


What is the Double Up Food Bucks Program in WNY

Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 19, 2014
What is the Double Up Food Bucks Program in WNY

In partnership with lead agency, Field and Fork Network, Harvest NY has forged a national partnership with Fair Food Network to pilot their highly successful program, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), in Western NY farmers markets. Using philanthropic funds, DUFB matches SNAP purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets up to $20 per visit, to be used on fresh fruit and vegetables grown in NYS.



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Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter

The Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter provides updates, resources, and insights for school Food Service Directors, Farm to School Coordinators, farmers and producers, and others working to support Farm to School efforts across New York State.

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