AMES, Iowa – Iowans will celebrate the second annual statewide Local Food Day on Oct. 11, as part of National Farm to School Month.
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.
Iowa State University 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 United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
“For Iowa Local Food Day, participating K-12 school districts in Iowa will be serving menus featuring Iowa local ingredients, said Tammy Stotts, of IDALS’ Farm to School Program. “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 a single school or all schools within a district.
Teresa Wiemerslage, farm to school field specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said more than 40 districts will participate in Iowa Local Food Day.
They will serve 80,000 lunches and 9,700 breakfasts, featuring more than 20 different locally sourced fruits and vegetables, dairy, meats and grains.
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