NORTHEY ENCOURAGES SCHOOLS TO PARTICIPATE IN “A IS FOR APPLE” INITIATIVE AND MIDWEST GREAT APPLE CRUNCH

Written by Theresa Rose on September 18, 2015

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa schools to consider participating in the “A is for Apple” initiative and the Midwest Great Apple Crunch to help celebrate local foods and the farmers who grow them.

“We are in the midst of apple season and these two initiatives are a great opportunity for students to try Iowa-grown apples,” Northey said. “The Iowa Farm to School initiatives like these help schools continue to expand the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables for students.”

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Farm to School program has funds available for the “A is for Apple,” initiative. The program will assist up to 40 classrooms in purchasing fresh, locally grown apples from an orchard in their area while they are in season.

A portion of the funds may also be used to purchase frozen apples that can be eaten anytime during the year. Iowa Choice Harvest is a 100% Iowa owned company that freezes and packages 100% fresh Iowa grown products without the use of added sodium or sugars. They offer 21 different varieties of apples, including some heirloom varieties, in each package of apple slices.

Schools participating in the initiative will also receive classroom supplies such as books, cookbooks or apple corers and Iowa Choice Harvest will provide an apple tasting event for one lucky school.

The deadline to sign up for the “A is for Apple” initiative is Thursday, October 1, 2015.

In addition, all Iowa schools are encouraged to participate in the Midwest Great Apple Crunch on October 22nd. Schools from across the Midwest will be celebrating local foods and those growing it by taking a bite out of a locally grown apple during the event. Classrooms interested in participating can register at http://bit.ly/MidwestAppleCrunch.

October is National Farm to School Month. To celebrate, we will be offering contests and classroom supplies all month! To learn more about the Iowa Farm to School program and other opportunities available to celebrate Farm to School Month you can visit http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/farmToSchoolProgram.asp.