Northeast Iowa Farm to School Program

Connecting Kids and their Food

Northeast Iowa Farm to School Program

Farm to School is a national movement connecting schools with their local agricultural communities.

Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (FFI) joined this effort in 2009 with the adoption of pilot projects in six school districts.  The FFI provided technical, educational and financial support for these schools, while the schools assembled teams to plan and implement Farm to School activities.

The NE Iowa FFI recently committed to extending Farm to School program opportunities for all of the region's 22 school districts. The School Wellness Action Plan catalogs Farm to School and Safe Routes to School activities, which the NE Iowa FFI supports. There will be learning opportunities for students, teachers and food service staff and producers. 


The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative invites your school to participate in Home Grown School Lunch Week, October 15-19, 2012

What Is Home Grown School Lunch Week?
It’s a week celebrating local foods! School food service directors will offer local items on the lunch menus during the week. Nutrition education information will be provided to students, and teachers will receive lessons focused on nutrition and the benefits of using Iowa grown foods.

How can schools get involved?
Have students develop and implement school-based activities: 

  • Advertise and promote Iowa Home Grown School Lunch Week.
  • Serve a locally grown food item one day—or every day.
  • Promote a different Iowa grown food each day of the week.
  • Invite parents and grandparents to eat lunch with their child.
  • Taste test new foods for the school lunch menu.
  • Hold a Health and Nutrition Fair or Family Fun Night.
  • Have students trace the path of a favorite food from the field to plate.
  • Assemble a display of books and media in libraries.
  • Produce a class cookbook showcasing Iowa products. 
  • Make apple cider, apple butter, applesauce, or maple syrup.
  • Arrange a field trip to a participating local farm.
  • Invite a local farmer to come to speak with students.
  • Invite a chef to do a cooking demonstration using local foods.
  • Have nutritionists visit the classroom.
  • Have students produce a calendar of seasonal availability of foods

How do we register our school?
The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative is providing food service equipment grants ($300 value) to 15 schools who participate in Home Grown School Lunch Week.  Here is what you need to do to receive this gift!
  • Register Early!  Click here to complete the registration form. You will be asked to submit the lunch menu and any planned activities for the week.  Schools will receive notice if they are enrolled in the program.
  • After the event, submit a final report which includes  audience reached, activities conducted, audience feedback of the event, and at least 3 photos.
  • Match is required.  Submit copies of invoices for $300 in local food purchases since August 1, 2012.  
Upon successful completion of the grant requirements, food service staff will choose a piece of kitchen equipment to be delivered to their school.   Click here to see what is available.

Applications due OCTOBER 5  For additional information, please contact Teresa Wiemerslage at 563-794-0599.

Click here to see the Invitation Letter and to download copy of the registration form.

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