Iowa Local Food Day Connects Students to Farmers, Highlights Growth of Local Food
Annual statewide celebration highlights the growing momentum behind local food in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 27, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig celebrated Iowa Local Food Day today by serving locally-sourced school lunches to hundreds of elementary students at Meadowview School in the ADM School District (Adel – De Soto – Minburn). Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has proclaimed September 27 to be Iowa Local Food Day.
“Iowa Local Food Day celebrates three of the very best elements of our state – our students, our farmers and our food,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Consumers are driving momentum behind local food within Iowa. There is the potential for even greater growth as more farmers and producers build even stronger connections with consumers, retailers, restaurants, schools, childcare centers, colleges and universities.”
Thirty locations, including schools, childcare centers, and a university, signed up to participate in the statewide celebration. To participate, sites must serve at least 2 items (breakfast, lunch or taste-test) with locally sourced ingredients. Participation can be for one school or all the schools within a district. Based on anticipated numbers, the participating sites cumulatively expect to serve 11,901 breakfasts, 44,013 lunches and 3,817 taste tests that incorporate Iowa ingredients.
ADM’s lunch, which Secretary Naig helped serve, included the following ingredients sourced from the following Iowa farms:
Lasagna Roll Up
Beef from Brewer Family Farms of Dallas Center
Cottage Cheese from WW Homestead Dairy of Waukon
Basil from Early Morning Harvest of Panora
Lettuce from Beaver Creek Produce of Berkley
Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumbers from Flint Ridge Organic Produce of Kalona and Sunny Ridge Produce of Carson
Jonadel Apples from Small's Fruit of Mondamin
Iowans interested in learning more about the Iowa Farm to School Program as well as the Local Food for Schools grant program, including how to become a vendor to institutional buyers like schools and childcare centers, should visit those resource pages on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website.