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Farm to School lunch program builds community ties, improves food quality

ENDICOTT (WBNG) — The success of a school lunch program is revolutionizing what your children are eating.

This is the sixth year of the Broome-Tioga BOCES farm to school lunch program, an initiative to have more produce grown locally. Last year, more than thirty percent of all lunch purchases in the 15 BOCES school districts were New York products, to the tune of $1.5 million.

BOCES staff say the benefits to this program go far beyond simply growing local produce.

“It’s one of the most positive impacts we can have in the community, for the health of our children, because we know where the food’s coming from, we know it’s fresh,” said Mark Bordeau, the senior food services director for BOCES. “Great for our local economy, local farmers, and it’s great for the environment.”

Staff say their goal is to use up to two million dollars worth of New York food this school year.

School administrators say the commitment to locally grown produce is a commitment to their community.

“We’re very proud of our community. We try to invest in our community, and our community invests in our schools everyday,” said Elaine Taylor, the principal of Ann G. McGuinness Elementary.

Josh Rosenblatt

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