Mark your calendar: Iowa Local Food Day is October 11!

June 26, 2018

local food day logoIowans will celebrate the first-ever statewide Local Food Day on October 11, as part of National Farm to School Month. Mark your calendar now, and visit the website to learn how you and your school district can participate!

Local Food Day Goals

Iowa Local Food Day will bring together all sectors of farm to school. The goals are to:

  • provide a strong support network,
  • aid food service directors in procuring local foods,
  • engage more growers in growing and selling to schools,
  • help growers ramp up school sales by working on a smaller scale with summer food service programs,
  • allow farm to school activities to expand beyond fruits and vegetables, and
  • raise awareness of farm to school across the state.

ISU Extension and Outreach’s Local Foods Program is one of the partners in the project. Iowa Farm to School Day is funded by a USDA Farm to School Grant to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Tammy Stotts of IDALS’ Farm to School Program says, “For Iowa Local Food Day, participating K-12 school districts in Iowa will be serving menus featuring Iowa local ingredients.” To participate, schools must serve at least two items (dishes for breakfast or lunch) with primarily locally sourced items. This can include meat and dairy (except milk). Participation can be just one school or all schools within your district.

Ready to get involved?

Iowa Local Food Day invites participation from all sectors of the state, including school food service, teachers, and administrators; producers and farm-based businesses; and parents and other volunteers. You can learn more at the website, and sign your school up to participate at this link.

local food day kidsThe core menu will include a Iowa corn muffin and veggie bake for breakfast. Lunch will include a pulled pork sandwich, roasted vegetables, Iowa coleslaw, and local fresh fruit. More recipe ideas are available at this link (scroll to the bottom).

The vision for this day was inspired by the Midwest Menu Celebration Day, supported by Chad Taylor, executive chef of Des Moines Public Schools. It originated with School Food Focus, a national collaborative that “brings together the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced.”

Root for Radishes this summer!

The Iowa Farm to School Network is also promoting summer feeding sites at Iowa schools with a fun campaign called Root for Radishes! Click the image at right to learn more.


The Local Foods Program is the state lead for the National Farm to School Network in Iowa. Learn more about that program and find farm to school resources here.

More resources: