Canandaigua Lake foodshed: Farm-to-cafeteria program

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2006: $9,053.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Deborah Denome
Seeking Common Ground

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: potatoes, soybeans
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, berries (other), cherries, grapes, melons, peaches, pears, plums, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, swine
  • Animal Products: dairy
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Education and Training: technical assistance, display, extension, mentoring, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, marketing management, feasibility study, value added
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    This is a collaborative project that will raise awareness about using local farm produce and products in institutions, and address the low volume of local foods being utilized by institutions in the Canandaigua Lake Foodshed region of New York. We will first raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities of using local foods at a "Breakfast with Farmers" event. Food Service Directors from local schools, hospitals, colleges, elder care facilities, daycare facilities, corporate cafeterias and more, will be invited to savor a farm fresh breakfast, meet local farmers, and hear presentations from those who are already successfully buying and selling local foods for use in institutional food service. Common barriers will be identified and addressed. We will offer a readiness assessment to the attendees to help select at least four institutions to participate in an interactive process to establish vibrant farm-institution partnerships. The goal will be to increase the use of local foods at these institutions by 5-10% over 12 months while planting the seeds for these types of partnerships to become the norm, rather than the exception, in the Canandaigua Lake Foodshed.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    We will measure our progress based on the following 16-month timeline for the project (March, 2006 to June, 2007). Our key milestones will be:

    May 2006: Handouts, slogan, brochure, and kitchen aprons created.

    June 2006: “Breakfast with Farmers” held with at least 15 local Food Service Directors
    At least 4 institutions identified for further collaboration.

    Sept. 2006: Barriers/opportunities identified and addressed; purchasing relationships and farmer
    deliveries to institutions begin.

    Fall 2006: Farm-to-Cafeteria celebration at each selected institution.

    May 2007: Fact sheet completed and widely distributed.

    June 2007: Program completion/evaluation

    Results will be measured and reported in the following ways:

    § Recording attendance and affiliations at “Breakfast with Farmers” event.

    § Surveying Food Service Directors (at the Breakfast) about their current interest and perceived ability to purchase more local products for use in their cafeterias.

    § Surveying Farmers (at the Breakfast) about their current interest and perceived ability to deliver more local products to local institutions.

    § Establishment of Farm-to-Cafeteria relationships for at least 4 local institutions.

    § Recording of the types and amounts of local products purchased direct or ordered through a supplier by these 4 institutions.

    § Final Survey of participating Food Service Directors and Farmers to determine their satisfaction with these new connections.

    § Final phone survey of all of the original (non-participating) “Breakfast with Farmers” attendees to determine if any additional institutions or farmers have created Farm-to-Cafeteria connections on their own.

    § Recording of the press surrounding the program, as it relates to increased public awareness.

    Of course, a measurement that will not be able to take place within the grant period is how many of these connections are sustained and expanded in the years ahead. It is our goal to create sustainable connections that will not only endure, but grow over time.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.