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N.Y. apples a perfect fit for NYC students

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New York City schools now distribute 35 million New York state apples to schoolchildren each year. That makes New York City schools the single-largest customer of the entire New York state apple industry, and to celebrate this mutually healthy relationship, the state’s apple association has produced an educational video that the New York City Department of Education is now sharing with students and their families citywide.

The three-minute video was produced by New York Apple Association and was recorded in picturesque orchards across New York state — including the lower Hudson Valley, where most of the apples shipped to New York City schools are grown. The video is packed with kid-friendly information about how apples are grown, their health benefits and the New York state industry. 

NYAA President Jim Allen commended New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Support Services for its strong “buy local” focus.

“We are proud to serve New York City school children locally sourced, healthy produce, including over 35 million apples a year grown in New York state," Eric Goldstein, the service’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. "This not only adds to our healthy menu options, it helps us teach kids about the benefits of farm-to-table eating and supports our local food producers.” 

Allen also gave nods to state Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

“Both of these very influential officials have been vocal, passionate and tireless advocates for New York state agriculture, we wouldn’t have gotten here today without them,” said Allen. “The singular purpose of the governor’s ‘Taste NY’ program is to create customers for local foods and beverages. Meanwhile, Commissioner Ball has vowed to ‘make New York New York’s customer’ and revitalized his department’s ‘Pride of New York’ buy local program.”

For example, on Sept. 28, the Cuomo administration announced $350,000 in new funding to help school districts across the state to connect with local growers and producers.

“New York state has been working hard to strengthen the connection between our farmers and our schools statewide," said Ball. "We not only want to make sure that our schoolchildren have access to fresh, healthy foods, but also that they know where their food comes from. This new video is a fantastic way to help us continue to connect the dots, spotlight the apple industry and educate our children about New York agriculture.”

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