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NYS-Sourced Food Brings Fresh Options to Students

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Copiague School District’s food and nutrition program is now participating in a New York State initiative to provide locally sourced produce and meat from New York State farms.

Starting in October, the district has New York State Thursdays, where they will have several menu items that are from local New York State farms. According to MaryAnne Metzak, Copiague School District’s director of cafeteria services, some items will be offered daily such as milk, yogurt and cheese sticks. “On Thursdays, we will have different dishes that feature New York sourced pasta, beef, chicken, fruits and vegetables.”

There are numerous benefits to implementing this type of program. Using food products from local sources supports local farmers and also provides healthy choices for students in school meal programs, while also helping the local economy. The initiative is intended to provide healthy New York sourced food products, such as farm fresh products, to students as part of their lunch meal in school.
To incentivize school districts to use more New York State farm products, the initiative increases the reimbursement schools receive for lunches from 5.9 cents per meal to 25 cents per meal for any district that purchases at least 30% of the ingredients for their school lunch program from New York farms.

At Copiague’s high school cafeteria, one serving line will be dedicated to New York State certified goods. Ms. Metzak works closely with a co-op of other school districts to help bring costs down. The menu will change each month, based on availability.

Date Added: 11/14/2022