When we think of college eating habits, we often think of late-night pizza and a bag of chips. But college dining services can provide nutritious and locally grown food, and college students in New York State are asking for it.
In a pilot program created by the non-profit Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS), four SUNY campuses were linked to New York State farms to, increase the number and variety of vegetables seen on campus while reinvesting in local economies. The program, called Farm to SUNY, has found high demand on campuses for locally produced fruits, vegetables and dairy. An article from the Rochester Business Insider, reported the participating campuses saw large increases in locally sourced food while communities saw increases in local investment. One farmer in Oswego County even had to increase his watermelon crop to keep up with student demand.
Collaboration across business and non-profit sectors, like the Farm to SUNY Program can mean real change for eating habits and community investment. FINYS is looking forward to expanding the program to all 29 SUNY campuses.