FFI Bits – February 2019

For better graphics and visuals, click here to view this edition in your browser.



ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

Need a space for you and your little ones to run off some energy this winter? ​Join us February 15 and 22 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for some open gym fun inside Luther’s East Gym!​ There is no admission fee, and balls, scooters, etc. will be provided. ​A Parent/Guardian MUST stay to supervise their child(ren).​ You can enter through the main doors of the Regents Center. RSVP’s are not required.​ Contact Safe Routes to School Coordinator April Bril (563-382-6171 or abril@uerp.org) or ​Luther Wellness Program Director Chandra Jennings (563-387-2075 or chandra.jennings@luther.edu ) ​with any questions.​

Beat the Blues Winter Marathon: A Wellness Challenge for all ages and abilities!
Complete a full marathon worth of activities (or more!) between January 1 and March 1. Run, walk, ski, snowshoe, or bike 26 miles outdoors at your own pace, when it works for you and your family. Or you can play outside (create forts, build a snowman, sled, etc.) for 30 minutes to equal one mile. Complete one or more marathons for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the local sports/health business, or recreation center of your choice! More details here.

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

The Iowa Food Hub continues with their reorganization efforts. Martin Luther King day is a national day of service. On that day, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, FFI service members and other volunteers disassembled the hub’s cooler and freezer so it can be moved to a new location. In addition to a new business structure, the food hub board is also looking at different options for the hub’s base of operations.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Since being the NE Iowa Food & Fitness Coordinator, I have heard children described as ‘picky eaters, fussy eaters, finicky eaters and persnickety eaters’. My personal perspective isn’t to raise a ‘perfect eater’ but to help children develop the skills to feed themselves as a lifetime skill. If children are exposed to real food and healthier options early in their life research shows they will form healthier habits for a lifetime and food won’t be so much of an issue for them. Read more.

Hallie Evans is the Farm to Early Care and Education Associate for Waukon. She writes, “After meeting with my three classes for 5 months now, I feel like the kids have gotten very comfortable with me, and that I have a good feel for their interests also. We’ve gone from them staring at me and not asking questions to being very engaged and hugging me when I leave their room, and volunteering information about what their mom grows in the garden or what happens to the milk from their farm, or what they like to eat with cheese on it.”  Read more.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) has awarded 165 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus.The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants are designed to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students. Twenty-seven classrooms in northeast Iowa received funding.


Congratulations to the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Award winners
The Healthiest State Initiative has announced the winners of the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards. The winners were recognized for their efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of their students, employees and fellow Iowans. Local awards were presented to:
Medium Workplace: Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital & Clinics
Individual: Jessica Wegner (West Union)

If you’re engaged in farm to school programming, consider submitting a proposal to present at the 2019 statewide farm to school conference, set for June 21-22 at Central College in Pella. Proposals will be accepted February 1 – March 1.

5-2-1-0 February Feature: Why we love water
Each month, a new theme will be presented and interactive resources will be provided to work on your healthy habits. Be sure to share your 5-2-1-0 Feature fun on social media using the hashtag #HealthyChoicesCount!


Dreaming of warmer weather? It’s never too early to start planning your garden! ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists have your guide to planting dates for common garden vegetables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.