Weekly Bits – Oct 2

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Like soaring consumer interest in finding and using locally-sourced food, a strategic partnership of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is taking flight. With continued support from the Leopold Center, the Local Foods Program is moving under the umbrella of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beginning this week.


“So much growth is happening right now in the local foods movement,” said Craig Chase, program manager with dual responsibilities for the Local Foods Program with ISU Extension and Outreach and the Marketing and Food Systems Initiative of the Leopold Center. “This new relationship with ISU Extension and Outreach will benefit both our clients and partners by becoming part of a much larger effort to work with a land-grant university that has offices in every county.”


The local foods team consists of 12 staff members helping to improve food systems in Iowa and includes Teresa Wiemerslage and Nick McCann, food system leaders for the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, and Corry Breggendahl and Arlene Enderton, the FFI evaluation team.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

The Early Childhood family playgroup facilitated by NE Iowa Community Action visited the Waukon Farmers Market in September. NE FFI provided coupons for the families to purchase local fruits and vegetables from the vendors.

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

The Kessel Kids Child Care & Learning Center in Cresco recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and natural playground dedication. “Now, people are so focused on technology, but we wanted to go back to the roots of play. When we (adults) were growing up, we used to go outside run around the grass without our shoes. At Kessel, we wanted to get back to the simple things in life,” said director Melissa Vobr.


FEEST intern Sierra Gonzales leads an activity at the regional FEEST training on how the menu is planned during the event. Using improvisational cooking in the kitchen, teens prepare a delicious and healthy meal.

FEEST interns strengthen the leadership, communication, marketing and organizational pieces of the program.  The interns receive a small stipend in return for leading FEEST in their community and completing necessary reporting.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

What a treat to celebrate St. Joseph Community School! The New Hampton school has received national recognition for supporting healthy choices through school meals, nutrition education, and physical education and activity. Team Nutrition presented their school with a Healthier US School Challenge Award.


OCT 2-4 WINING WITH THE ARTS  Empty Nest Winery, Waukon, 10-5 pm each day. Ten local artists will display their talents, including Stained Glass, Canvas paintings, Pottery,  Ink Washes, Artisan Jewelry, Wood,  Glass Windchimes, Bowling Ball Art, Reloaded Jewelry, Reclaimed Wood and fabric Artists.  Check website for more details.

OCT 13 – IOWA HUNGER SUMMIT   Join over 600 leaders from across Iowa and the Midwest at the Ninth Annual Iowa Hunger Summit to celebrate Iowa’s contribution towards ensuring adequate food for all and increase statewide awareness of hunger, poverty and related issues. Free and open to the public, come to the Iowa Hunger Summit to learn more about who the hungry in Iowa are, how hunger impacts human health and well being, and the extraordinary work that Iowans are doing to alleviate hunger both at home and abroad. Tuesday, October 13, 9-4 pm, Marriott Hotel, Des Moines.

OCT 20 – MINI MEDICAL SCHOOL: OBESITY University of Iowa is hosting a special Mini Medical School where they will dive into the science behind the obesity epidemic. In this Mini Medical School, they’ll discuss digestive efficiency, which determines how (and how many) calories are actually absorbed by the body. Mini Medical is for anyone — you don’t need a science or medical background to participate. Mini Medical School is designed for adults, or anyone ages 15 and older, who are curious about current issues in medicine and science. October 20, 5:30 pm, Hotel Winneshiek. Reservations are required.

STATE OF OBESITY IN IOWA  Iowa now has the 16th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. Iowa’s adult obesity rate is currently 30.9 percent, up from 20.9 percent in 2000 and from 12.2 percent in 1990.

FOOD IS COMMUNITY  A new study from the University of Iowa finds that more Americans than ever before are shopping at local food markets and are joining food coops at record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food. Local food enthusiasts also prefer to eat locally grown produce and meat because their commitment to do so makes them feel a part of a community that shares their passion for a healthy lifestyle and sustainable environment. Among their findings, the UI researchers discovered local food markets were more likely to develop in areas where residents had a strong commitment to civic participation, health, and the environment.


Homemade applesauce is a great way to take advantage of the bumper apple crop. This recipe from the ISU Answerline can be easily canned or frozen.


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