The Good Food Buffalo Coalition is working to bring institutional market opportunities to small farmers in New York State.
Institutions in New York State and around the country are being celebrated for innovative new approaches to increase their local food purchasing from small farms. School districts and hospitals are among the institutions that have been awarded Farm to School or Farm to Institution grants to source from small farmers, and many of them are successfully connecting local products to their consumers through those initiatives.
The Good Food Purchasing Program is a framework that allows public institutions to set goals, measure progress, and celebrate successes in increasing purchases of local, sustainable, healthy, fair, and humane food. Over the last nine years, the Program has been adopted by more than 43 institutions across the country, in institutions from schools and hospitals to correctional facilities and city agencies. There are strong institutional champions for the Program in New York State, such as the New York City Mayor’s Office and the Buffalo Public Schools.
On January 29, the Good Food Buffalo Coalition will host a Farmers & Legislators Forum for farmers to learn about opportunities to connect with institutional markets, including community support, grants, and training opportunities to support their farm businesses. New York State legislators and their staff will also have the opportunity to learn about local and state policies that communities are advocating for to support farmers in connecting with institutional markets.
The event will include:
- An overview of the Good Food Purchasing Program from Anna Lappé, good food advocate, food systems funder, and author of Diet for a Hot Planet
- A presentation from small farmers involved in selling to schools and other public institutions in Buffalo, Chicago, and Austin.
- Information on grants for animal welfare, worker safety, and NOFA-NY’s Improved Pasture Management Program
- An overview of Soul Fire Farm’s Uprooting Racism Workshops
- Information on local opportunities around values-based procurement from Bridget O’Brien Wood of Buffalo Public Schools Child Nutrition Services and Cheryl Thayer of Cornell University
- Hear from policymakers who advocate for small farmers and champion the Good Food Purchasing Program