FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
This beautiful mural of Iowa agriculture was the backdrop of the Iowa Regional Food System Working Group meeting in Ames this week. Local food coordinators from across the state meet once a quarter to share successes, challenges and resources. I was part of a panel presentation on working with county Extension Councils to support local food work. We also talked about hospitals as partners and learned more about Farm to School efforts across the state.
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson
The Northeast Iowa Funder’s Network has awarded $8,000 to FFI. The funds will be used to leverage the recent Wellmark Foundation Match Grant funding plan to expand the Farm to Preschool work in NE Iowa early childhood environments beyond Head Start including regional preschools and daycares.
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
The Northeast Iowa Safe Routes to School Program was recently awarded $4,000 from the Mitchell-Howard County Opportunity Fund, which recognizes projects with an educational and/or environmental focus. This grant will support the Northeast Iowa SRTS Program’s on-going safety education and active school travel efforts in Howard County.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty
St. Joseph’s Middle School FFI 4-H team is organizing an all-school wellness afternoon of fun fitness activities for their school. The team plans wellness days frequently, and the school supports their philosophy of coming together, cheering for each other and enjoying fitness across all ages.
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members
Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged the country with the question, “What are you doing for others?” The FFI service members spent the MLK National Day of Service making freezer meals for a local food pantry.
“It’s funny to plan an “extra” service project amongst the FFI Resource Contacts when volunteering is our full-time job,” reflects Paige in this week’s blog. “We serve. We serve our communities and schools every single day. We do it because we want to share our work, knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, and positivity to influence others. We serve to make a difference, no matter how significant, because we all have an enormous passion for “Food & Fitness” work. We serve because we LOVE it.”
We know that kids who eat healthier and move more perform better in school. It’s not just because teachers and administrators tell us so. Research shows that healthy kids get better grades, attend school more often and behave better in class.
Experts recommend that kids get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. These minutes can come before, during, or after school as long as kids are staying active and having fun!
Active Living Research released a report recently about the effects of physical activity on academic success. The report found that physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on long-term performance, including enhanced concentration.
TIP OF THE WEEK:
Are you trying to start some healthy habits in the new year? Whether you’re trying to save money or eat better, packing a healthy lunch can help you do both! Salad is a common go-to option for people trying to eat better, but not all salads are created equal. Here is a quick guide to simplify packing salads for lunch.