Food & Dining
USDA Joins Nation’s Communities to Feed Children during Summer Meal Gap PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Amanda Browne   
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 07:22

By Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

While the kids are exuberantly shouting, “School’s out!” many parents may be quietly worrying just how they’re going to feed their kids all summer long.  I want to assure those moms, dads and caregivers that USDA has a program that can help.

All it takes is a toll free phone call to find a USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site where children in low-income areas can get a free meal during the summer months when schools are closed.  The National Hunger Hotline (1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-866-348-6479) can give you locations of Summer Food Service Program sites open in your local area.  Just provide your zip code and the Hotline operator will tell you if there is a site near where you live.  This information is also available to Spanish speakers, 1-877-8-HAMBRE.

Summer meals are free for children 18 and under at open sites.  In addition to a healthy meal, the program offers enjoyable learning activities held in a safe place where kids can play with friends and make new ones.

Summer meal sites are located at libraries, schools, family centers, youth drop-in centers, park and recreation centers, faith-based organizations, day camps and food banks, and many other locations where children come together during the summer months. Sites offer activities such as arts and crafts, drama, sports, computer training, music and reading that keep kids interested and coming back day after day.   I’ve personally visited many sites and know that the kids have a great time and enjoy good meals.

We need to spread the word so that more families, parents and children know about this program and can find a site in their community. I encourage parents and sponsoring organizations to work with their schools to send Summer Food Service Program flyers and other outreach materials home with students before the end of school.  Our Website, includes templates for creating these materials.

SFSP is vitally important to the millions of kids who eat school lunch and school breakfast during the school year but have no nutritious alterative in the summer.  Only 3 million of the 22 million students who receive free or reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program participate in a summer feeding program either through SFSP or through their school.

Summertime should not be a hungry time for these kids. SFSP fills that gap.  Healthy food gives kids energy so they can enjoy all the summertime fun, but also maintains their nutrition so they feel well and do well once they’re back in school.

At USDA, we’re committed to ensuring that all students have access to “food that’s in while school is out.”  We are here to help parents and communities make that a reality this summer.

From the Ashes of The Red Avocado... PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by The Red Avocado   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:42

...arises Burt Family Food Services

Most of you probably already know that The Red Avocado is now out of business. This is the last newsletter to inform you of continuing services from Chef Dave. Please follow the links to find out more about any particular subject. We hope you will support us by following our new blog and "liking" our new Facebook page.

We have started a new business called Burt Family Food Services. Chef Dave is preparing weekly meals for pick up once a week - standard is 4 meals for 2. This service continues the successful Meal Plans that were available the last few years at The Red Avocado. All meals are vegan and 99% organic.

Cooking classes are ongoing through Kirkwood Community College and New Pioneer Food Co-op. These focus on vegan and seasonal cooking including a 4 part vegan whole foods series, vegan 3-course meals and intensive classes focusing on one particular ingredient. We will also be presenting free cooking demos throughout the year at various locations. Look for us at the market this summer, at the Field to Family Festival in September and at Willowwind School in the Fall.

Our original recipe veggieburgers are available locally and larger shipments can be arranged nationwide. Email to arrange an order. If you are outside of Iowa City, our teas, frozen veggieburgers and other dried goods can be shipped. Within a month or so we should have online ordering available via PayPal.

Around town, veggieburgers are available at The Wedge Downtown, New Pioneer Food Co-op delis and The Trumpet Blossom Cafe. In the future we hope to have the veggieburgers available from the frozen section of the Co-op again as well as the tea blends that were so popular.

We hope to be shipping veggieburgers via Buykind, a website that specializes in delivering vegan foods from restaurants around the country.

Private Nutritional and cooking consultations are also available. Email to arrange an appointment specific to your needs.

If you'd like to subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter please reply to this email with "subscribe" in the subject line. The newsletter will include links of interest, local news, nutritional information, recipes and special offers.

If you are interested in the meal plans and would like to receive the menus with no obligation to purchase please reply with "meal plan" in the subject line.

If you'd like both please reply with "subscribe meal plan" in the subject line.

Again, please visit our website and our Facebook page, as we continue to grow.

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Cody Road Bourbon Released LastFriday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ryan Burchett   
Monday, 04 June 2012 15:19
LeClaire, Iowa, May 30, 2012 – Mississippi River Distilling Company will release the third batch of Cody Road Bourbon Whiskey on Friday, June 1, 2012. 

Both first and second releases of the whiskey sold out across Iowa in Illinois within a week of their respective release dates.  With this third batch also comes a slightly larger quantity of bottles as 1,500 bottles to be distributed around Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.  MRDC’s retail shop in Le Claire will have 80 bottles for sale starting at 10 a.m. Friday.  Due to the high demand, sales at the distillery will be limited to one bottle per person.  The Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division is limiting retailers to six bottles per store, per week to help spread the supply.

Owner and distiller Ryan Burchett says to expect another quick sale.  “Last time we released bourbon, people were lined up down the street waiting for us to open.  We were sold out in an hour,” said Ryan.  “I’m not sure a day has gone by since that someone hasn’t stopped in or called to see if we have any more.  Unfortunately, this batch likely won’t last much longer than the last one.”

In Iowa, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division will be limiting stores to 6 bottles each until the bourbon is gone.  The supply is expected to sell out to retailers within a day of release.

Distillers Ryan and Garrett Burchett continue to work on increasing the supply to match demand.  Starting in November, the distillery will begin releasing 1,000 bottles per week.  They hope by the end of 2012 it will be easier to find a bottle on store shelves.

This Friday also marks the distillery’s monthly First Friday.  This open house social will be held June 1 from 5:30 – 8 p.m.  While the bourbon is expected to sell out during the day at the distillery, there will be some available for tasting during the First Friday event.  MRDC will feature food from the Crane and Pelican restaurant, another Le Claire establishment.  There will also be two signature drinks for the evening.  We’ll be sampling the “Bees Knees,” a drink featuring River Rose Gin, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice and honey.  The second cocktail will be a combination of MRDC’s Queen Bee Honey Whiskey and lemonade.  Both are cool and refreshing cocktails for summertime!  Free samples of both food and drink will be served and the complete recipes can be found at our website        

Mississippi River Distilling Company is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free tours are offered to the public daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process.  Tours end in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples of products for those patrons over 21 years of age.  


Hardly Bland and American Great Steak Now Open at SouthPark Mall PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Aleshia Chiesa   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:53
Who: Hardly Bland is a new fast food option in the food court at SouthPark Mall. Hemanth Nagaraj opened Hardly Bland on April 24. Hemanth is a graduate of LeCordon Bleu® College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, IL where he studied Indian cuisine.

American Great Steak is open in the food court at SouthPark Mall. This features tender cheese steak sandwiches, turkey clubs and made- to-order fresh fries.

What: Both food options are now open.

SouthPark Mall Hardly Bland & American Great Steak
4500 16th Street
Moline, IL 61265


Mean Mel's offers outdoor seating on deck overlooking Mississippi River PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Rick Martin   
Monday, 14 May 2012 09:29

Mean Mel's Steakhouse, located at 708 South Main Street in Port Byron, has opened up their outdoor deck for additional seating while dining at the restaurant.

The deck overlooks the Mississippi River and gives diners a wonderful view of the river and the landscape along and across the river.

Please call Mean Mel's Steakhouse at (309) 523-2877 to make reservations (accepted but not required).

For more information, visit:

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