Iowa Local Food Day is October 11

September 6, 2019

by Teresa Wiemerslage, field specialist

Iowans will celebrate the second annual 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.
Two girls eat squash.

ISU Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program is one of the partners in the project. Iowa Farm to School Day is funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block 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. This year we are including colleges and universities and early childcare centers.”

To participate, schools must serve at least two locally sourced items for breakfast or lunch. Local foods can include produce, meat, eggs and dairy (except milk). Participation can be just one school or all schools within a 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.

Schools are welcome to serve any foods produced in their area. An ideal menu is posted on the website and includes an Iowa corn muffin and veggie bake for breakfast. Lunch could include pulled pork sandwich, roasted vegetables, Iowa coleslaw, and local fresh fruit. More recipe ideas are available at this link (scroll to the bottom).

Helpful resource: Iowa Farm to School Network