Project Rooted is a Farm-to-School nutrition education program utilized in school districts in Dubuque, Iowa. Rooted Boxes are distributed monthly to 900 elementary students and provide the food, tools, and knowledge necessary for making their own snacks out of local foods in the classroom and at home. Northeast Iowa RC&D assisted Project Rooted with creation of a video series integral to the success of the Rooted Boxes.
RC&D staff filmed and produced nine education and engaging videos highlighting regional producers that grow, raise, and harvest a wide-range of local products featured in the Rooted Box, everything from hydroponic lettuces and tomatoes to pasture-raised pork to honey.
The videos that resulted from this project brought students to the farms and greenhouses where they could see their foods produced and hear directly from the farmers, solidifying the connection between food, farmer, and community. In addition, the videos can serve as a marketing and educational tool for the producers themselves, further expanding their opportunities to produce and share locally produced foods.
In addition to producing the video series, RC&D served as the project’s grant administrator, overseeing management of a $100,000 Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program provided by the Food and Nutrition Service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The video series is available on the Northeast Iowa RC&D YouTube Channel.