Iowa's "Farm-to-School" program a success this fall

Iowa's "Farm-to-School" program a success this fall

Iowa Department of Agriculture program had 40 schools participate in the "A is for Apple" initiative this fall.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Nov. 5 thanked the 40 schools in 17 communities across the state that participated in the Iowa Farm-to-School program's "A is For Apple" initiative this fall. The schools that participated this year received funds to buy locally grown apples and classroom supplies to teach students about the value of eating well and supporting local farmers.

BUY FRESH, BUY LOCAL: The 2015 edition of Iowa's "A is for Apple" initiative provided grants to 40 classrooms at schools to support the purchase of fresh, locally grown apples from an orchard in their area while apples are in season.

Northey attended apple sampling event at Brubaker Elementary
Northey visited Brubaker Elementary School in Des Moines on Monday, November 9 at 11 a.m. to participate in events they are hosting as part of the "A is for Apple" initiative.  The winning application was submitted by Brandi Van Horn, a second grade teacher at Brubaker Elementary. The event included a school-wide apple sampling with apples provided by Iowa Choice Harvest, a farmer-owned Iowa company from Marshalltown.

"Exposing students to the fresh, nutritious and delicious foods we grow here in Iowa can help create positive lifelong eating habits," Northey notes. "I appreciate the hardwork by the teachers across the state to incorporate locally grown food into their classroom. It was great to be able to join the students at Brubaker Elementary in Des Moines for their apple sampling event and see how students enjoy Iowa-grown apples."

Schools received grants to support 40 classrooms purchases
The "A is for Apple" initiative provided grants to 40 classrooms to support the purchase of fresh, locally grown apples from an orchard in their area while they are in season. 

A portion of the funds could also be used to purchase frozen apples that can be eaten anytime during the year. Iowa Choice Harvest is a 100% Iowa-owned company that freezes and packages 100% fresh, Iowa-grown products without the use of added sodium, sugars, additives, or preservatives. They offer 21 different fall varieties of apples, mostly heirloom varieties, in each package of apple slices.

Schools also received books and other classroom supplies
Participating schools also received classroom supplies such as books, cookbooks or apple corers. Schools participating this year are in Dayton, Marion, Readlyn, New Hampton, Oxford, Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Cedar Rapids, Guthrie Center, Iowa City, West Branch, Waukon, Postville, Ossian, Decorah, Waverly and Miles.

In addition to their local events, 34 schools signed up to be a part of the Midwest Great Apple Crunch. Photos and a video of these celebrations can be found on the Iowa Farm to School Facebook page. Learn more about the Iowa Farm to School program and other initiatives online.

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