FFI Bits – October 13

Schools and communities across the region walked last week for National Walk/Bike to School Day and for the Healthiest State Walk. Check out the FFI Facebook page for photos from Waukon, Elgin, Fayette, Cresco, Decorah, McGregor, Elkader, New Hampton and more!









FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

BISON TOUR  Twenty farmers from around the region gathered at Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch for the Northeast Iowa Food and Farm Network gathering on Sunday, Sept. 17. The cool, sunny fall day provided a perfect backdrop to tour the ranch, learn about their agri-tourism model, and get up close to the powerful, majestic American bison.

October 10 was a bad day for local farmers, local schools, and the local business that connects them. Iowa Food Hub’s refrigerated delivery truck hydroplaned and rolled into the ditch. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The truck was badly damaged, severely limiting Iowa Food Hub’s ability to operate.


While insurance will help with the truck repairs and possible replacement, food hub needs help with the short-term expenses like the costs of a rental truck along with towing and lost product costs. A GoFundMe page has been started to help.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

The dog days of summer are leaving us behind and fall is in the air!  What a great time to get outside and enjoy what is around us. If you are in the Oelwein area take a stop at this gem of a park…Red Gate Park.  Located on West Charles St. it posts 24 acres of land.

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

FFI headed north to St. Paul last month to present at the National Walking Summit. The National Walking Summit is the premier opportunity for community advocates, nonprofit representatives, government officials, and transit, health, and planning professionals to share best practices and build support for the walking movement. UERPC presentations included a poster on the “Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Challenge” and a panel discussion on cross-sector collaboration, collective impact and the 10-year Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative journey. Also representing Northeast Iowa was Jes Wegner and the West Union Walking School Bus.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

GROOVIN’ GLADIATORS The sixth grade students of Waukon Middle School are learning about gladiators as part of their lesson over the Roman Empire. We prepared for the arena by stretching our arms and shoulders and getting in some jumping cardio, all to the very appropriate theme music of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”!

What’s the most effective way to reduce childhood obesity? That was the topic of research conducted by the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, Luther College and Mayo Clinic. The research examined the impact of the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative on rates of increase in Body Mass Index in elementary school children families in Allamakee, Clayton, Chickasaw, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties over the course of six years. The collaboration produced the paper “Slowing BMI Growth Trajectories in Elementary School-Aged Children: The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative,” which was published in Family and Community Health: The Journal of Health Promotion and Maintenance.

FARMERS TO SCHOOL  It’s National Farm to School Month! Farmers served lunch at Waukon Middle School this week and the students dressed up as farmers to celebrate.


26% LOCAL AT LUTHER  When you dine at Luther College, chances are that some part of your meal came from a local farm. As a matter of fact, last year 26% of all food and beverages served on campus were locally produced. Northeast Iowa is increasingly agriculturally diverse and offers a variety of foods that our chefs enjoy incorporating into their menus. Here’s a little taste of what you might find when you eat a meal at Luther College this Fall.


Classrooms will be hosting Halloween parties soon. FFI talks about balance and moderation. With all the excesses of trick-or-treating looming, we can provide some balance by focusing on healthier treats for classroom parties. If you’re pitching in for your child’s party, here are 10 FUN ideas for healthy Halloween snacks.

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