AMES, Iowa — Iowa Local Food Day is Oct. 13 and sign-up is open. To participate, sites must serve just two local foods that day, for breakfast or lunch (excluding milk). Local food on salad bars and taste-tests count toward the two items served. Don’t forget to include what’s growing in your school garden.
Iowa Local Food Day is part of National Farm to School Month, which lasts all through October.
“It is great to see schools, child care sites and colleges continue to celebrate this annual tradition,” said Teresa Wiemerslage, farm to school field specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Iowa Local Food Day is the one day we can celebrate local foods together, but I expect to see local foods being served all month long.”
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship initiated Iowa Local Food Day in 2018 to bring together all sectors of farm to school to celebrate Iowa-grown food.
Here’s a report on last year’s Iowa Local Food Day impacts.
The following are some key goals of the initiative:
- Provide a strong support network.
- Aid food service directors in local food procurement.
- Engage farmers in growing and selling to schools.
- Help farmers 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.
- Raise awareness of farm to school across the state.
Iowa Local Food Day invites participation and support from all parts of the community: school food service staff, local farmers and volunteers/parents. Get ideas and sign-up on the Iowa Local Food Day website.
Tip: Food hubs are ready to help schools with their local food goals. They are the local food experts. Find a hub near you on the Iowa Food Hub Directory.
For more information, contact Wiemerslage at 563-794-0599 or email@example.com
— Teresa Wiemerslage, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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