Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowa schools to participate in the "Wrap Your Own-Iowa Grown" initiative that is being offered through the Iowa Farm to School Program. The initiative will promote the purchase of locally-grown vegetables and products to create Iowa grown wraps.
"The 'Wrap your Own-Iowa Grown' initiative helps schools get more of the fresh fruits and vegetables that we grow here in Iowa into their meals and gets students to use and to choose fresh, Iowa grown products," says Northey. "I hope schools will consider applying and look at opportunities to use more Iowa products."
To participate in this initiative, a school's food service director must complete a one-page application that can be found on the state ag department's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov and then clicking on the "Farm to School" link under "Hot Topics." From the applications that are sent in to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, 10 schools will be selected to receive a $200 grant to support the purchase of locally grown (in season) fruits or vegetables.
In addition, schools can compete to win a grand prize by submitting their own wrap recipe. The best wrap recipe using the most local ingredients will receive $300 for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. The Iowa Farm to School Program coordinator will also host an assembly and provide 25 t-shirts and promotional items to the winning school.
All winning schools will also receive:
• "Wrap Your Own-Iowa Grown" wrap paper
• List of growers/producers/distributors that have Iowa products
• Recipes for different kinds of wraps to distribute to your students
A photo contest called "Now That's a Wrap" also being offered
Iowa students are also invited to participate by using their photography skills to capture the best looking fruits and vegetables in Iowa. The "Now That's a Wrap" contest will recognize two students that submit the best photos. The winners will receive a Wrap Your Own T-shirt and their picture will be placed on display at the Iowa Department of Agriculture's website and be used in future promotions.
More information and an application can also be found on the "Farm to School" page at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. The submission deadline is May 1, 2011. The photo and application can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to IDALS-Organics Dept., Attn: Emily Wadle (F2S), 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.
The "Wrap Your Own-Iowa Grown" is an initiative of the Iowa Farm to School Program that was started in the fall of 2009. This is the third time the program has been offered and the first time it has been available in the spring.