Northeast Iowa Farm to School Chapter
"Linking schools with farming communities..."
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 supports Farm to School program opportunities for all of the region's 20 school districts. Farm to School helps children understand where their food comes from and how their food choices impact their bodies, the environment and their communities.
Five Reasons to Start a Farm to School Program
1. To provide appealing and nutritional foods like fresh fruits and vegetables for growing children.
2. To serve high-quality foods that don't have to travel far from farm to tray --they are fresh, flavorful and have a long shelf life.
3. To increase school lunch participation rates by offering foods that kids will eat.
4. To demonstrate to the community that your food service operation supports the local food and farm economy.
5. To take advantage of the variety and quantity of foods available locally while reducing your transportation costs and carbon footprint.
NE Iowa Farm to School Gardens Slideshow
- Eat Smart--Farm Fresh! A Guide to serving locally grown produce in school meals (USDA)
- School Meal Program Updates for District Decision Makers (ISU)
- Standard Operating Procedure: Direct Purchase of Food Products from Grower by K-12 School Districts (ISU)
- Checklist for Retail Purchasing of Local Produce (ISU)
- USDA memo: Geographic Preference
- USDA memo: Geographic Preference (Oct 2012)
- USDA Discussion on Geographic Preference
- USDA Farm to School policies (May 2010)
- The Lunchbox: a toolkit to transform school lunchrooms
- Oklahoma School Food Produce Calculator
- Sample Spec sheet for local foods for schools
- Steps for Using Informal Bid Procedures (Iowa)
- Letter from IDALS/DIA on use of local food in food service
- Recipes for Schools
- Seasonal Guide to Local Produce in NE IA
- Current USDA F2S memos (Iowa, June 2010)
- What's for Lunch? Tips for packing school lunches
New School Food Regulations
- USDA Memo: Nutrition Standards in National School Lunch and Breakfast program (Jan 2012)
- USDA Memo: 6 cent certification (July 2012)
- USDA Memo: Extending the Flexibility of Meat and Grain Requirements (Feb 2013)
- FFI School Garden Guide NEW!!
- FFI Garden Harvest Log
- Sources of Seeds for School Gardens
- USDA memo: Using food from school gardens
- Harvest maturity indicators for fruits and vegetables (Kansas)
- Connecting school gardens to curriculum (California)
School Garden and Food Safety
- FFI: School Gardens 101
- Best Practices for Using Produce from school gardens (Oklahoma)
- Fresh, Healthy and Safe Food: Best Practices for using produce from school gardens (Virginia)
- Food Safety in the School Garden (Maryland)
- Five Steps to Food Safe School Gardening (Connecticut)