News Releases for the 2014 - 2015 school year
October 22nd, 2014
Michelle Burgess, Karen Calvert and Sun Song put the finishing touches on apple crisp, sourced from 10 Iowa orchards.

Michelle Burgess, Karen Calvert and Sun Song put the finishing touches on apple crisp, sourced from 10 Iowa orchards.

DES MOINES, IA (Oct. 22, 2015) – On October 23rd, Des Moines Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services will provide a special ”Midwest Menu” in celebration of Food Day.

Throughout the district, Des Moines Public Schools will be featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with regionally sourced chicken drumsticks, in coordination with other large districts across the region who are members of the School Food FOCUS Upper Midwest Regional Learning Lab (UMRLL).

School Food FOCUS is a national collaborative that brings together the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. The Upper Midwest Regional Learning Lab leverages the buying power of seven large districts that feed nearly 650,000 students (Chicago, Cleveland, Des Moines, Detroit, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Saint Paul Public Schools) to redirect procurement practices toward more wholesome food.

For Des Moines Public Schools’ Midwest Menu, they will be sourcing roasted chicken drumsticks from Appa Fine Foods in Denison, IA, in addition to Iowa Choice Harvest’s locally-grown sweet corn, sourced from Griffieon Family Farms and Pheasant Run Farm, and an apple crisp, sourced from 10 local apple orchards.

Sandy Huisman, Director of Food and Nutrition Management for Des Moines Public Schools shares, “Food Day provides a great opportunity to promote and celebrate the Iowa foods we serve to our students in Des Moines Public Schools.  Our Food Service team loves preparing special recipes, like the apple crisp on the Midwest Menu, that are a special treat for the kids at their school.”

Des Moines Public Schools participates in the UMRLL with support from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in Des Moines, a non-for-profit organization who hosts the FoodCorps program in Iowa. Two FoodCorps service members currently assist Des Moines schools with nutrition education, school gardening, and bringing locally grown food to the cafeteria.

For more information about the Midwest Menu, go to

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