Some days, I leave school feeling so empowered and energized about all of the amazing progress we’re making towards creating a healthy, equitable, exciting school food environment for the kids and staff in Postville.
The USDA has released data for the Farm to School Census. This is the second year of the census, which looked at farm to school activities in school districts across the nation for the 2013-14 school year. Nationally, the dollars spent on local foods increased by over 100% from the previous census (2011-12). State specific data reports that 75% of the school districts in Iowa completed the survey. From those that participated in the survey, 29% participated in farm to school activities. Continue reading
I scream, you scream, we all scream for WALKING CLUB!
Walking Clubs, also known as Mileage Clubs, are simple and fun ways to incorporate more physical activity into a student’s day. Continue reading
Unlike most of the K-12 educators we work with in schools across the country, FoodCorps service members don’t have tests to prepare our students for, we don’t have the pressure of teacher accountability if our students don’t meet certain learning benchmarks, and we always have really fun material to work with. The freedom and flexibility of our positions, if we wield them correctly, can lead to immense opportunities to pay close attention to and address our students’ well being — and not just as it relates to food. As service members, we are also in a unique position to be able to impact the social/emotional lives (and thus, a more holistic well-being) of the students we serve. Continue reading
The school garden beds in Oelwein are blanketed in snow and ice, and the sub-zero temperatures today seem so distant from the heat and humidity of the Northeast Iowa summer. I have been filling up on roots: turnips, carrots, and potatoes. Storage crops grown by local farmers this past season are keeping me nourished and warm during this season of sleep. I am so lucky to have access to healthy, local food. I am so privileged to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Continue reading
On October 7, I had a revelation. An idea that had been stewing in my brain, subconsciously, finally made itself apparent. I’ve heard it articulated many times in many different contexts. But now I get it. This idea has certainly informed my FoodCorps service thus far, even if I didn’t acknowledge it explicitly, but I now understand that it effectively sums up what I know about creating change: you must meet people where they’re at.
Nowhere illustrates concept this as well as a school lunchroom on the day of a kale chip taste test. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, I returned to school. Not my schools in Postville but graduate school. So, for the first time in seven years, I became a student. (In the formal sense. I always consider myself a student of life.) I felt like for the first time in a long time, I was around a cohort that may not feel as passionately about food as I do, and I felt a real sense of loss. I’m going to school to obtain my master’s in library and information science, and while I was attending classes, which I found incredibly interesting, I worried about how I would still keep the kind of work that I’ve been doing for the past two years as a part of my future career. I was asking myself if I was doing the right thing. Continue reading
Spring is the peak of Bike Rodeo season in Northeast Iowa, meaning my schedule gets pretty darn busy. Continue reading