LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
Local and regional food system professionals are obliged to rely on imperfect, incomplete, and evolving measures to track economic changes in the local food industry. These data are critical for informing decisions on how to invest limited resources to create optimal impacts. In a recent editorial published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, Corry Bregendahl and Craig Chase (Leopold Center) talk about how the the economic data assessment process — first launched in northeast Iowa and now, statewide — can start to fill in those gaps and craft the story of system change.
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission was recently awarded $4,900 from the Iowa Cancer Consortium to promote safety and physical activity in upcoming Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities this spring. The funds will be used to purchase youth bike helmets, reflective safety decorations for bikes and helmets, bike rodeo safety equipment and Walking School Bus volunteer safety vests.
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson
I keep seasonal vegetables on my shopping list all the time. Last time I was at the grocery store in the produce section I overheard a little girl ask her mom when it was going to snow. I thought it was because of the holiday season and Santa’s sled, but I was wrong. She wanted to build a snowman and saw the carrots to use for a nose. Luckily, her mother said they could buy the carrots even if it didn’t snow because they could eat them and buy more if it snowed. I was so proud of this mother.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty
Wellness Wednesday is an after school program hosted by Decorah high schoolers for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. This year, they had 75 elementary school students participate. This a great program program where both big kids and little kids have a great time being active in the gym, playing games, and eating healthy snacks.
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps service members
Megan Woodward’s (Decorah AmeriCorps) taste tests for December have all been about one thing: moderation. With the holidays around the corner, treats are going to be everywhere and the kids know it too. To get students up and moving and thinking about “Sometimes” foods, she gave every child a food card with either a fruit, vegetable, or sweet on it. If their card was an “Everyday” food, they jumped as high as they could, if it was a “Sometimes” food they squatted down.
TIP OF THE WEEK: If you find yourself racing to find a last-minute gift, look no further! Here is a collection of Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipes that make great low-cost gifts.