On Thursday, August 18, 2016, the City of Iowa City, in partnership with the Downtown District, Field to Family and Johnson County, will hold the first annual Farm to Street Dinner on North Linn Street in Iowa City from 6-9 p.m. This 200-guest, sold out event includes a six-course meal prepared by Iowa City Downtown District chefs with food sourced from local producers. The goal of the Farm to Street Dinner is to bring together members of Iowa City’s diverse, vibrant community to share a table, a story, and a meal, while supporting local food systems. This year, a portion of the net proceeds will go to the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Foundation to support local food efforts, and a portion will go to the Iowa City Community School District Farm to School program, which procures fresh, locally grown foods for school meals and snacks, as well as provides students with hands-on opportunities to learn about healthy food habits.

Tammy Neumann, who coordinates the Iowa City Farmers Market for the Parks and Recreation Department, said she was researching new ways to help bolster local food efforts, when she came upon a photo of a similar event in Tennessee. “The table was stretched out for a whole city block, surrounded by hundreds of people laughing and eating together on a beautiful summer evening. I knew we needed to bring this to Iowa City to showcase the talents of our local producers and chefs.”

In that spirit, Downtown District restaurants were invited to propose dishes sourced with seasonal ingredients, from local growers. This year, the meal will highlight dishes created by chefs from Baroncini Ristorante, Devotay Restaurant, Motley Cow Café, Northside Bistro, Pullman Bar & Diner, and SHARE Wine Lounge and Bistro.

The Farm to Street Dinner is supported through money designated by the Iowa City Council Sustainable/Locally Grown Agriculture initiative, with additional support coming from the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, PIP Printing, Bark and Bloom, High Ground Cafe, Get Fresh and Jessica Pease Design.

Tickets priced at $75 each, originally went on sale on Friday, June 10, and sold out within 48-hours.

 “We’re thrilled that Iowa City has embraced the event so warmly,” Neumann said. “We hope to continue hosting the dinner annually to further the important work of agencies like Farm to School, who promote Iowa City area farmers and help make healthy food more accessible.”

"This event will help support the goals of our Farm to School Chapter which are to increase the amount of fresh, local foods that students eat, support school gardens in order to teach kids where their food comes from, procure locally-grown foods for the school lunch menu and offer hands-on activities and demonstrations showcasing the components of a sustainable food system,” said Michelle Kenyon, Coordinator of the ICCSD Farm to School Chapter. “The requests from schools for assistance with starting and maintaining school gardens, and procuring local foods for school lunch menus are growing faster than our resources can keep up - the support from the Farm to Street dinner will go a long way to help meet the demand for this program."  

For more information on the impact of the Farm to School program in Iowa City visit, www.fieldtofamily.org.

Date of publication

Friday, August 12, 2016