The NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative embraces the concept of pilot projects to test new products or methods to address community needs for wellness.
Our latest pilot project is targeted toward the youngest Iowas – supporting farm to school efforts in early childcare settings.
We are trying to answer this question – can we develop a toolkit that would make it easy for a preschool teacher to conduct a farm to school lesson and taste-test in the classroom?
Introducing…Preschool Teacher Boxes! These kits contain locally sourced products for taste-tests and ingredients to do a classroom cooking activity. The boxes follow the Harvest of the Month theme used in schools across the region.
Teresa Wiemerslage with ISU Extension and Outreach is coordinating the project. She identifies local products and includes ingredients and supplies for a recipe.
Seven preschool classrooms in Waukon and Cresco are participating in the pilot. The Iowa Food Hub is coordinating the sourcing and delivery. The budget for each box is $20-25 per month. Funds for the project are from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.
The project team plans to share what they learn by developing a toolkit for each food so that other food hubs, local food coordinators or farmers can offer the teacher kits in their community.