Many students and adults in our community grow up around farms without experiencing the practice of planting, nurturing, harvesting and eating fresh vegetables. To introduce students and families to healthy eating habits and boost the local agricultural economy, the Vinton-Shellsburg school and our local Farm-to-School program aim to connect local farmers to our school cafeterias.
Farm to School week kicked off on Monday, October 8th and will celebrate local farmers by offering students locally grown foods during the school lunch program. During the week, over 1200 students will be introduced to locally grown or harvested products. During the week of October 8th-12th, all district menus will feature meals utilizing local corn, beans, honey, sweet potatoes, pork, yogurt and apples, as examples. On Friday, October 12thstudents in grades 1st – 5th will tour Birker’s Dairy farm to learn where their milk comes from, followed by a trip to explore Vinton’s Youth Garden.
ABOUT THE VINTON-SHELLSURG FARM TO SCHOOL CHAPTER
The Vinton-Shellsburg Farm-To-School chapter was organized in 2015 to increase the use of locally-grown fresh and nutritious produce, increase scratch meal participation and reduce processed foods to address food insecurity and obesity. In June, 2018, Vinton-Shellsburg Farm-To-School chapter was awarded a $48,000 planning grant from the USDA to encourage the use of nutritious, locally grown food.
The specific uses of the grant as detailed in the award announcement said: The Vinton-Shellsburg Schools will partner with the local Farm-to-School Chapter to address childhood obesity, food insecurity, and nutrition concerns by integrating more locally produced, fresh ingredients in the school meal program. The Farm-to-School Chapter offers food samples, education, and training to students and staff. Vinton-Shellsburg Schools will develop a comprehensive plan to build the capacity of staff, students, and families and identify local farmers who can provide fresh produce. The plan will include training and mentorship opportunity for nutrition staff to learn about scratch-cooking techniques, recipe development, and menu design.
For more information on the Vinton-Shellsburg Farm-to-School program, to join our local chapter or become a volunteer, please contact Carolyn Frazier, Project Director at (319) 721-8823. Like the Vinton-Shellsburg Farm-to-School Chapter Facebook page for the latest news and more.