Farm to School
Delivering Food from Farm to School
The Northern Iowa Food & Farm Partnership is proud to partner with six local school districts. From 2009-2011, we collaborated with Independence, Malcolm Price Lab School, and Waterloo districts, and Fall 2011 marks the beginning of our second year of partnering with Dike-New Hartford, Sumner-Fredericksburg, and Waverly-Shell Rock districts. Through generorus grants from the Wellmark Foundation and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, we work closely with these schools’ food service directors to help serve the freshest and healthiest produce, meats, eggs, and dairy to students, help start school gardens, integrate farm to school ideas into classrooms, and more!
Check out some of their accomplishments!
Dike-New Hartford Community Schools:
- Have been serving locally grown produce items donated by interested community members
- Buy fruits and vegetables grown by surrounding area farmers
- Purchased a brand new salad bar in Spring 2011 to encourage students to try more fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria
Independence Community Schools:
- Mark Armstrong from Acoustic Farms in Springville, IA has visited several elementary school classes to demonstrate how to make mozzarella cheese. Mark's cheese curds have been served at lunch to the entire district to much praise!
- Independence hired a farm to school coordinator to help procure food from local farmers and work with students in the classroom to talk about why eating fresh, local food is important for your health and community
- Spent almost $7000 on local food for school meals in the 09-10 school year
- Successfully put in a brand new school garden in May 2010, named "Mustang Roots n' Shoots" by a student vote. The garden provides an outdoor classroom for students, and fresh produce to the cafeteria.
- Use community volunteers over the summe to help process and preserve local strawberries, sweet corn, zucchini, and green beans for use during the school year
- Seventh graders participate in field trips to a nearby dairy and other farms to get an up close look at how lcoal food is grown
- Click here for an in depth case study of Independence's F2S Program!
Malcolm Price Lab School:
- Students routinely go on field trips to a variety of local farms to meet the farmers that grow their lunches
- Participated in Michelle Obama's "Chefs Move to Schools" program, allowing Chef Jim from the College Square Hy-Vee to teach cooking classes to students
- A renewed dedication to hiring high school students as lunch line servers has helped to foster dialogue among students about what they're eating
- A partnership with UNI communications students produced pamphlets and presentations explaining the steps PLS has taken to make healthier school meals
- After completing a major overhaul of their school lunch program in 2009, PLS saw a 39% increase in school breakfasts served, and a 50% increase in school lunches served
- 37% of total food purchases are now from local farmers
- Eliminated daily desserts, began serving fresh fruit (local and/or organic whenever possible) daily
- Has a productive school garden run by interested students and parent volunteers
- Reduced kitchen and cafeteria waste by 50% and began composting scraps in the school garden
- Click here for an in depth case study of Price Lab's F2S Program!
- Served locally grown tomatoes, peppers, onions, apples and more from farms in Tripoli and Fredericksburg to students during Fall 2010
- Succesfully put in a school garden in 2010 with help from students, community volunteers, teachers, and food service staff
- Ordered seeds for their school garden through the America the Beautiful Fund's seed recyling program to help reduce waste
Waterloo Community Schools:
- Served 1200 lbs of locally grown Sommerset seedless grapes to over 7600 students in 2009
- Served a diverse array of locally grown produce, including cherry tomatoes, apples and green peppers during the 09-10 school year
- Introduced many new and healthier menu items, including whole grain pasta and baked goods
- Offered a new fruit or vegetable item every month for students to try
- Served a fresh fruit or vegetable every day with lunch
- Revamped the Waterloo food service website to include nutritional information, information on special diets, and school menus
- Celebrated numerous school year holidays with special, themed meals
Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools:
- Plans for an all new kitchen opening in 2011 will include significantly more freezer space to store local items well into winter
- Are getting in touch with local growers this winter to do some joint menu/planting planning for spring 2011
- Recently purchsed a new blender and serving bowls to help process and present fresh produce for students