Food & Dining
Ross' Restaurant to be featured on Iowa Ingredient on Iowa Public Television on Friday April 25th at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday April 26th at 11:30 a.m. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:51
Bettendorf, Iowa  - Longstanding Quad City restaurant was selected to be featured on the show, "Iowa Ingredient," for it's use and support of local foods.

Iowa Ingredient showcases Iowa foods, farmers, and chefs as they explore ingredients with an Iowa flavor. Each episode features a single Iowa ingredient, like eggplant, spinach, cherries, or wine. Viewers will learn where the food is grown in Iowa, learn more about someone who grows it, and see how to use the ingredient in unique and delicious recipes. An Iowa chef will be profiled before helping us make a delectable dish or two in the Iowa Ingredient kitchen with host Charity Nebbe.

The show will feature Ross' general manager, Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers making two of her favorite dishes using local eggs.  "It was so fun to highlight an ingredient that we serve so much of to our customers on a daily basis, we serve over 5,000 per week and are so proud to be using local, cage free eggs fresh from Iowa farms.  I am passionate about local foods was honored to be selected for the show by the producers.  I like to call the use of local food products a triple win:  better for local economy, they taste better and are better for your health."

There will be a live broadcast event of the Ross' segment at the Quad Cities Food Hub on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and a sampling of one of the featured dishes that Freidhof-Rodgers made for the show as well as copies of the recipes from the show.  This will be part of a "Helping Hands Day" (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the Quad Cities Food Hub, which will involve building a community demonstration garden at the Food Hub.

Mother’s Day is the Most Popular Holiday to Dine Out PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Katelyn Kostek   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:00

Mother’s Day is the Most Popular Holiday to Dine Out

Two-thirds of those dining out on Mother's Days this year will have children under the age of 18 in their party


April 22, 2014, West Des Moines, Iowa— Don’t wait to make those restaurant reservations, Mother’s Day surpasses even Valentine’s Day as the most popular holiday on which to dine out according to research from the Iowa Restaurant Association. In fact, nearly half of moms would pick a favorite restaurant as the place to celebrate Mother's Day.

Not sure what to include with that card?  “There’s really no need to worry about how to celebrate the moms in your life,” said Jessica Dunker, Iowa Restaurant Association president and CEO. “Moms love restaurants. Not only do restaurants provide a much-deserved reprieve from cooking at home, they also provide a celebratory atmosphere.”  Restaurant gift cards and certificates are also a top gift pick for moms, with one in five saying this is their preferred gift.

Dunker noted that it is important to get on top of making those Mother’s Day restaurant reservations. “It’s not too soon to make those reservations regardless of the meal you’re planning to celebrate,” said Dunker.  58 percent of Mother's Day diners will go out to a restaurant for dinner, 32 percent lunch, 24 percent brunch, and 10 percent for breakfast.  In addition, one in five Mother's Day diners (19 percent) will go out for more than one meal that day. Atmosphere is also an important factor because children are a major part of the mix when dining out on Mother's Day. Two-thirds of those dining out on Mother's Days this year will have children under the age of 18 in their party.

Find a Restaurant

Looking for a new restaurant to try this Mother’s Day? Dunker encourages people to check out Dine Iowa, a free statewide restaurant directory.  Available online as well as a free smart phone app and on Facebook, Dine Iowa allows consumers to check out menus and hours, as well as run unique searches on everything from Gluten Free offerings to patio seating.  It is available at

Editor's note: in the Quad Cities area, log on to and find that special restaurant for this wonderful occassion.

Iowa Restaurant Association

The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s hospitality industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

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Freight House Farmers' Market news PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Rick Martin   
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:25

Just a friendly reminder, folks, that the Freight House Farmers' Market is open on Tuesdays from 3pm until 6pm in addition to their regular Saturday hours of 8am until 1pm.

Starting in May the outdoor market will be in full "bloom" as vendors will fill the lots with hundreds of fresh, locally grown and produced items.

For more information, please visit

Quad Cities Food Hub now open on Sundays PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Rick Martin   
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:20

The Quad Cities Food Hub, located in the historic Freight House building at 421 West River Drive in Davenport, will now be open on Sundays from 12 Noon until 3:00pm.

The Food Hub is also open Monday and Friday from 10am until 5pm, Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays from 10am until 7pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 3pm.

A bi-state initiative – the Quad Cities Food Hub connects farmers and consumers in Iowa and Illinois in effort to augment regional local food production and consumption. The organization is part of a network of Regional Food System Working Groups in the state of Iowa.

Find out more by visiting

Summer Shouldn’t Mean Hunger for Our Nation’s Children PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by By Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services   
Monday, 07 April 2014 07:34

As a child, I always looked forward to the carefree joy of summertime. I remember the long days of playing outside at a nearby park until I needed to come home for lunch.  Unfortunately, many of our nation’s children do not experience the simple joys of summer.  In fact, far too many are left worrying where their next breakfast or lunch will come from when schools are dismissed for summer break.

During the school year, about 31 million American children receive school meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program every day. About 21 million of those children receive meals at a discounted rate or for free, based on their family’s income.  When summer rolls around, though, only about 3.5 million of these children participate in USDA’s summer meals programs.

That means millions of eligible low-income children are at risk of going hungry during the summer months. And we know that to thrive and reach their highest potential, children need good nutrition all year long.

USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is working to fill this hunger gap for children who qualify for free and reduced price meals during the school year. The program serves free healthy meals to eligible children ages 18 and under, and is made possible through the efforts of national, state, and local partners, including a cadre of energized volunteers.

While USDA has worked to increase access to summer meals for low-income children for many years, SFSP began receiving priority attention in 2013.  Last summer, USDA employed a new tactic of working with partners to deliver intensive, targeted technical assistance on SFSP in five states.  The result was a historic increase in the number of meals served, nationwide—7 million more than the previous year!  We hope to continue building on last year’s successes with our state and local partners in 2014, and move closer to closing the summer hunger gap.

The key to success this year will be expanding the number of sites open for summer meals. We must spread the word to schools, parks and recreation departments, libraries, and faith and other community organizations across the nation; their participation is critical for the continued success of SFSP. The deadlines to become Summer Food Service Program sponsors vary by State, and begin as early as April 15. Program sponsors oversee and provide meals to summer sites.  In return, USDA, through the States, reimburses program sponsors for the meals served to children.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say that galvanizing hundreds of faith-based groups, civic groups, recreation centers, food banks, schools, other non-profit organizations, and volunteers takes time, effort and commitment on all sides.  For any community that treasures its youth (and I haven’t met one that doesn’t), we must organize now to fight hunger this summer.

If you or your organization is interested in helping us reduce the risk of hunger among our nation’s youth, visit our website, The summer meals outreach toolkit includes sample outreach plans, templates, customizable flyers, door hangers, letters to parents, examples of site activities, best practices, and more.  State representatives are also available to answer questions and facilitate sponsor enrollment and site registration.

This year, let’s work together to make sure every child in our great nation has a hunger-free summer.

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