b'FARM TO SCHOOLAs identified in Section VI, farmers and schools in our region have identified interest in building farm to school programs to use more local fruits and vegetables in school meals. This interest, combined with the recent legislative changes to increase reimbursement to New York school food programs using local foods provide a ripe opportunity for organizations and coalitions to broker relationships between schools, farmers, food processors and distributors. Education for farmers in understanding the school procurement process is another area of opportunity. The New York State Education Department recently released guidance for school food service directors to take advan-tage of increased reimbursement rates for local foods.While much focus has been placed on farm to school approaches, other institutions with cafete-rias, such as hospitals, colleges and large worksites can also explore the farm to cafeteria concept. These efforts have the potential to expand access to local fruits and vegetables in people in congre-gate settings and bolster the local food economy.CHILDREN AND YOUTHEfforts that expose children to healthy eating habits and a variety of produce have promise to help develop habits early. Examples provided in this report identify potential in efforts like the Elmira Kids Farmers Market, summer meals programs and community gardens supported by residents and organizations during the summer months. Sugar-free policies in early childcare settings, such as the Carlson YMCA, set an early expectation that food served in the preschool setting should be healthy.Existing efforts are underway to connect people with food resources through schools. Common Ground Healths Healthi Kids program has worked to improve the quality of school meals as a way to increase childrens consumption of fruits and vegetables and has led systems building efforts in Rochester to expand the reach of the Summer Meals program. Healthi Kids has also collaborated with Cornell Cooperative Extension and Foodlink through the Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY program to improve healthy food access and educational opportunities in Rochester City Schools. Examples include:Hosting Curbside Market visits to schools.Offering Foodlinks BackPack program which distributes backpacks of nutritious foods to stu-dents in need to provide food when school is closed.Increasing food education in the classroom, at family nights and parent group meetings.Providing tower gardens and gardening supplies to schools and coordinating the technical as-sistance to start and maintain school gardens.Improving the options available on Celebration Carts to include healthier snacks and opportuni-ties for physical activity. Partnering with Foodlink, food pantries are available in some schools.DISTRIBUTIONIn addition to Farm to School programs, food assistance programs should continue to think cre-atively about ways to bring food to people in places where they already congregate. As retail grocery stores have closed in communities across our region, and people have identified time as a barrier to eating healthier food, models which bring food to people at schools, recreation centers, senior centers, or worksites have potential to increase access for different populations. Even se-niors, who largely report having no barriers to eating healthier, tend to congregate in community centers or senior centers where pop up markets or other nutrition assistance could be available.Foodlinks Curbside Market 14has explored partnerships with different types of locations, includ-ing low income housing, school events, health programs and municipalities. For example, the City of Geneva purchases Curbside vouchers for its residents to use at the Curbside Market. Our caf participants repeatedly mentioned Curbside as a convenient and reliable option, and the Double Up Food Bucks 15program just increases its accessibility among SNAP recipients. This is a model of a creative partnership that could be replicated in other areas in the region.35'