“Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers”

“Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers” Awards $43,000 to Iowa ECEs

In November 2020, partners within the Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Coalition were awarded a Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant (FIG) from the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) for their grant titled Racial Equity in Iowa Farm to School and Early Care: Advancing Outcomes through Process, Programs, and Policies.


With this funding, the Iowa FIG team has launched a local food incentive pilot called “Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers.” Participating early care and education providers (ECEs) that are enrolled in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) will be allocated funding totaling $43,000 to purchase local food (fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and grain) from April through September 2021. Participants will source local foods from local farmers, farmers markets or food hubs, with technical assistance from food system partners.

About the Grantees

Throughout January 2021, nearly 200 ECEs that are enrolled in the CACFP submitted applications to participate in the “Local Food Makes Cents” grant pilot. The scoring process prioritized sites serving higher percentages of children receiving Child Care Assistance and sites serving children of color.


The fair-share funding model used to determine award amounts is as follows: October 2020 meal claims x 6 months x $0.10 = award amount. With this funding model, 125 ECEs across 41 Iowa counties (highlighted in the map at right) will receive grants, ranging from $50 (for smaller in-home sites) to $4,200 (for larger centers), totaling $43,000.

Iowa ECE providers have great and growing interest in beginning and increasing local food procurement efforts, as evidenced by the number of ECEs interested in this opportunity. This grant offers ECEs state-level funding for local food purchases to mitigate the financial risks of trying new procurement partnerships and new foods. Grant coordinators and food system partners look forward to connecting with ECEs to make purchasing local food a positive experience—for the providers themselves, the kids and families they serve, and the local farmers and food hubs they support.

For more information about the 2020 Iowa FIG project, contact:

Chelsea Krist, Farm to School Program Coordinator
ISU Extension and Outreach, FFED


Erin Olson, Community Health Consultant
Iowa Department of Public Health


Patti Delger, Team Nutrition Co-Director
Iowa Department of Education


Krista Smith, Farm to ECE Coordinator
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children


Haleisa Johnson, NEIFFI Early Childhood Program Coordinator
Luther College/NICC

Britney Samuelson, Senior Program Manager
State Public Policy Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.