Genesee Valley Central School District (GVCSD) was awarded a Healthy Meals Incentives (HMI) Grant for $119,494 from Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) to support its effort to improve the nutritional quality of school meals and expand farm-to-school efforts. The project is coordinated through a partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County.

The Healthy Meals Incentives Grant is part of an allocation of nearly $30 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service to 264 schools across 44 states and the District of Columbia and is the largest targeted investment that USDA has ever made for school meal programs in small and rural communities.

The nutritional quality of school meals will be improved through a partnership with Ellicottville Greens, an innovative and emerging farm. “By partnering with Ellicottville Greens to grow produce hydroponically, the district will have access to fresh, local leafy greens, microgreens, herbs, and more year-round, which is not typical for WNY due to our limited growing season,” said Project Coordinator and Farm to School Educator, Alyssa Dean.

“Foods that are locally grown are packed full of more flavor and nutrients as there is a shorter distance from harvest to table. In other words, a shorter food supply chain.” Dean commented. “Through this partnership in particular, GVCSD is sourcing superior produce all year long—just one of the ways we are contributing to the goal of improving the nutritional quality of school meals.”

Read the entire release at Wellsville Sun