Governor Tom Vilsack’s extending the shelf life of his “Iowa Food Council”. The group encourages Iowans to eat more Iowa-grown food and was scheduled to disband, but the Governor signed an executive order making the group a permanent part of state government. Neil Hamilton, a Drake University law professor, is chairman of the Iowa Food Council. He says food security and hunger are key goals of the Council. Hamilton had hoped the state would match federal money which gives poor, elderly Iowans coupons to buy food at farmers’ markets around Iowa, but Republican legislators nixed the project. The Food Council stops short of asking state officials to require that only Iowa-grown foods be used in public schools, for instance.Vilsack says the Food Council will try to teach Iowans about the quality of Iowa-grown produce.Officials estimate 10 percent or less of an Iowan’s diet consists of Iowa-grown food.
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