Local Food

News Release contact:

Barbara J. Case, Superintendent of School, bcase@svecsd.org


Spencer-Van Etten Central School District Highlights Local Food Sources


The “30% NYS Initiative” provides increased State reimbursement for the purchase of New York State (NYS) food products for school lunch programs.  The initiative is intended to provide healthy New York foods, such as farm fresh products, to children in school meals.


Spencer, September 18, 2023—The Spencer-Van Etten Central School District will be highlighting New York State foods products as part of the school lunch program on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.  The New York State Menu Day will include corn-on-the-cob from local farmers, Robert and Kayln Nugent from Tholhill Farm in Candor, NY, all beef hotdogs from Smith Packing in Utica, NY, as well as NYS milk and apples. 


The effort is part of the “30% NYS Initiative” which provides increased State reimbursement for the purchase of NYS food products for the school lunch program.  The goal is to highlight New York State foods, such as farm fresh items like corn-on-the cob, and to support the local economy.   Buying local foods also aligns with the District’s Blueprint for Excellence Strategic Plan.  As part of Priority Area 2: The Student Experience, the District committed to providing new food offerings that included a salad bar and more “farm to table” options into school meals.  The District reintroduced the salad bar at the High School this school year, and the New York Menu Day will encourage students in all three buildings to assist with the food preparation, including shucking the corn-on-the cob, to better understand where their food comes from, even with school meals.  Teachers and the S-VE chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) at the middle and high schools will incorporate farm to table announcements, discussions, and lessons into the instructional day to increase local agricultural awareness among the students and employees.  In addition, the District’s Green Team will ensure the corn husks and cobs are properly composted, which will, eventually, enrich the soil used in the Agriculture program’s green houses at the high school.


“The Spencer-Van Etten Central School District is committed to supporting and growing the District’s Agriculture program, so that students learn about the many facets of the agriculture industry, including the environmental impact, animal science, and food and natural resources.  We have many local resources with an abundance of knowledge and experiences from which our students can learn, and we are so pleased to collaborate with Tholhill Farm to enrich our school meals while simultaneously supporting teaching and learning with real-life experiences,” said Barbara J. Case, Superintendent of Schools.


Spencer-Van Etten Central School District also partners with Candor Central School District and Cornell Cooperative Extension to support the District’s growing Agriculture program.  Both schools will utilize Hilltop Community Farm on Cass Hill in Candor, as an additional learning space and to collaborate with local farmers.