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Farm to Institution New York State

Providing opportunities for local farmers to bring healthy food into institutions like schools and hospitals.

One way to save farmland is to create more economic opportunities for our farmers. When farmers make a profit, they are not under as much pressure to sell their land to real estate developers. Our state institutions annually feed millions of New Yorkers. That’s a lot of food.

Farm to Institution New York State

Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) is a collaborative initiative led by American Farmland Trust to dramatically expand the volume of food grown on local farms and served in institutions across New York, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, and senior centers.


FINYS has a mission of strengthening the economic security of farmers and the health of New Yorkers by empowering institutions to spend at least 25 percent of their food budget on foods grown in New York.

We believe that transforming the local food economy requires systemic change and the efforts of many – from agriculture, public health, economic development, environment, education, and other industries. The FINYS Leadership Team includes experts from many sectors in the food economy who help guide FINYS programs while fostering stronger networks to build the farm to institution movement across New York.


Advancing Public Policy

Public policy campaigns advocate for agencies and institutions receiving public funds for food purchases to buy New York-grown food and to expand public funding available to institutions for purchasing those foods. Learn more about our New York Grown Food for New York Kids coalition and policy priorities.

New York Grown Food for New York Kids

Educating Institutions About Buying Locally

On the Plate at SUNY: Growing Health, Farms and Jobs with Local Food

The FINYS Local Food Buyer Learning Center trains and supports institutions in expanding local food purchases. A Local Food Buyer Toolkit will offer modules on topics like:

  •         Getting started with farm to school
  •         Geographic preference in school food purchasing
  •         Incorporating New York-grown food in food service contracts
  •         Menu strategies for local foods
  •         Tracking food to its farm origin  

Inspiring Commitment and Framing Success

The Public Plate in New York State: Growing Health, Farms and Jobs with Local Food

Transparency and documentation of changes in the local food economy are important to farm to institution success. We publish reports that analyze food purchasing in select institutional sectors, including state agencies, K-12 schools, and SUNY colleges, and project the impacts of expanding local food purchasing. Institutions that make progress toward, and achieve, the goal of spending at least 25 percent of their food dollars on food grown in New York will be promoted to inspire other institutions to follow their example.


American Farmland Trust is grateful for the support of FINYS from the NoVo Foundation, Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation, Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, and the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, as well as Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and the New York State Health Foundation.


Stephanie Hsu, Farm to Institution New York State Manager: Shsu@farmland.org