Davenport Farm to School Initiative

[by Sherry Staub]

Did you know that Iowa Lawmakers passed Farm to School legislation in 2007
to establish a program that would: “Link our public and non-public
schools with Iowa farmers as well as provide schools with fresh and
minimally processed Iowa-grown food for inclusion in school meals and
snacks and encourage children to develop healthy eating habits and
provide them with hands-on learning activities”?  
and eating fresh, locally grown food is fast becoming a national trend
and we need to include our school children in this healthful movement.

Monday night in the basement of the Davenport Public Library, ten people met to establish the first Chapter of the Farm to School Initiative for Davenport Schools.  Interested and energized parents, food vendors, a college food service administrator and organizers, met to strategize and plan the direction for this Charter program.  Establishing as a bona fide chapter with the State of Iowa Dept. of Agriculture will make them eligible for funds which can be used to procure fresh food for school lunchrooms as well as educational materials to motivate and enlighten other parents, teachers and administrators.

Their goals are two pronged.  Work at the local school level with McKinley Elementary as the pilot program for finding creative ways to inspire children to want to eat more nutritious food (and in the process energize the whole Farm to School movement in our community)….as well as drawing local food service stakeholders like administrators and distributors and farmers and parents and other community leaders together to discuss their goals for meeting the state mandates for fresh food in the cafeteria.

It’s a movement that is growing across the country as we see childhood obesity and health issues take center stage with health care providers and politicians.  We believe everyone in the community can stand behind the objectives of this group to unite school food with local food with good nutrition for healthier, happier children.

If you are interested in more information about this program, please contact:  SherryStaub

Lend your voice and your support by helping to establish a
local chapter of the Iowa Farm to School Initiative.  

Click to see if your county already has a Farm to School chapter.

Use this handy brochure
to approach your farmers, school food service directors, or other
interested community members about Iowa’s Farm to School Program.

Sherry Staub volunteers with the Progressive Action for the Common Good Local Foods Initiative, which includes Farm-to-School, and co-facilitates a Community Garden at St.Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa.

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