Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will participate in Iowa Local Food Day this Friday, Oct. 11. Over 150 schools across the state will be serving two or more items of Iowa-grown food on their breakfast or lunch menus. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be joining Secretary Naig for breakfast at 8:00 am at Cornell Elementary School in Des Moines before signing the official Iowa Local Food Day Proclamation.
“Iowa Local Food Day highlights the importance of connecting the farmers who grow the food with the communities that enjoy it,” said Naig. “I look forward to meeting the students at Saydel and the farmers who grow the food being served. The state of Iowa is a leader in agriculture production yet we often find gaps between the farms and local food service. The Governor’s Proclamation and the school districts celebrating Local Food Day will draw attention to the importance of eating fresh, locally-grown food.”
Ninety-eight percent of Saydel School District’s food service menu is grown by local farmers on Local Food Day. Other schools have taken note and followed their lead. Chefs and foodservice directors at participating schools have connected with Iowa dairies, growers and livestock farmers in order to find the fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs and other items that will be served.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship works with the Iowa Department of Education and many partners across the state to support the connection between Iowa farmers and schools. Iowa Local Food Day was established in 2018 with support from a $100,000 Farm to School Support Services Grant. Since that time this event has expanded to include universities and early childcare as well. Some of the projects, such as the Farm to Summer Program, will continue well into the future.
The Iowa Farm to School program, housed within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, partners with the Healthiest State Initiative. This encourages Iowans to participate in the 5-2-1-0 program by eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks each day to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
To see which schools are participating in Iowa Local Food Day or learn more about this event, visit https://www.iowalocalfoodday.org.
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