Local Foods Program
Dining Services is committed to creating a sustainable food program where you will enjoy eating locally grown food. We strive to create a program that educates you about the foods you are eating as well as their source. Our mission is to support local small businesses, farms and community as well as cultivate a healthy eating lifestyle.
- Our goal for the 2015-2016 school year is to serve at least 10 percent locally grown foods.
- This includes fresh meats, dairy products and produce.
- The Central Market staff has embraced the local idea and has made fresh dill and sweet pickles from the cucumbers we received from local farmers.
- When we receive tomatoes from the garden, we make our own homemade marinara and salsa that are featured at various meals.
- For six straight days in July, we received an average of 62 dozen ears of corn per day.
- The corn was shucked, blanched, cut off the cob and bagged for freezing throughout the week.
- We bagged 258 gallons of corn to be used throughout the school year for our students.
- Every month, a local farmer will deliver an average of 100 fresh whole chickens for us to cut and serve.
- When this chicken is served, our goal is to use very little seasoning. We want you to be able to taste the fresh, natural flavors of the chicken.
- This school year we will feature local dairy items such as skim and chocolate milk from WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon, Iowa. At breakfast, we will feature a variety of regular and Greek yogurts from Country View Dairy in Hawkeye, Iowa.
- In addition to fresh produce received from local farmers, we also regularly feature flash frozen organic fruits and vegetables from Caledonia, Minn.
Many of our beef and pork options this year will be purchased from the Iowa Beef Producers as well as local lockers.
Our staff dietitian reviews all meals and items served to generate nutrition information for all food offerings. Each item lists total calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates and protein. Our dietitian also provides a separate menu for students who need meal accommodations such as allergen-related foods and gluten intolerance.
Dining Services is the largest employer on campus. We staff, in an average school year, upwards of 350 students between Central Market, Fred’s, Geisler Café and catering. Our facilities are almost entirely student-run. Our student employees are a vital role in our day-to-day operation as well as instrumental in creating a positive, well rounded, work experience.