Food & Dining
Lt. Gov. Simon praises increased local food access PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 15:00
SPRINGFIELD – During an address to Downtown Springfield, Inc. on Wednesday evening, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, an advocate for a fresh food economy, will release figures showing more low-income Illinoisans are choosing to purchase healthy, locally produced foods at Illinois farmers markets.

The amount of food stamp benefits known as LINK redeemed at Illinois farmers markets and from direct marketing farmers increased by nearly 69 percent between 2011 and 2010, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sales in federal fiscal year 2011 totaled $69,320, up from $41,146 in 2010 and $11,146 in 2009. (The federal fiscal year is October 1-September 30.)

Simon attributes the increase, in part, to better access. Currently 49 markets and direct marketing farmers in 20 counties are certified to accept LINK, which is up from 35 in 2010 and 15 in 2009. The only constitutional officer from Southern Illinois, Simon chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, which is focused on expanding access to local foods.

Simon will detail the numbers at the Downtown Springfield, Inc. annual awards dinner. Downtown Springfield, Inc. is a non-profit that works to preserve, promote, and enhance Springfield’s historic central business district, and runs the Old Capitol Farmers Market.

EVENT: Downtown Springfield, Inc. annual awards dinner

TIME: 7 p.m.

PLACE: Hilton Hotel, 700 East Adams Street, Springfield

First Lady to Announce New Nutrition Standards for Meals Served in America’s Schools PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Regan Hopper   
Monday, 23 January 2012 13:26

Public-Private Partnership Aims to Connect More Kids to Nutrition Programs

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2012 – First Lady Michelle Obama will be joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at Parklawn Elementary School to speak with parents about the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. An important accomplishment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that President Obama signed into law last year, USDA is making the first major changes in school meals in over 15 years, and doing so in a way that’s achievable for schools across the nation. The new standards make the same kinds of changes that many parents are already encouraging at home, including ensuring kids are offered fruits and vegetables every day of the week, substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods, offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties and making sure kids are getting proper portion sizes.

Mrs. Obama and Secretary Vilsack will join children in the lunch line in Parklawn’s cafeteria where the school’s food service employees and celebrity cook Rachael Ray will be serving a healthy, delicious meal that meets new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. Mrs. Obama and the Secretary will then join elementary kids for lunch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
11:15 a.m.

WHAT: First Lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services will announce the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches.

WHERE: Parklawn Elementary School
4116 Braddock Road  
Alexandria, Va. 22312

Continuing the Battle against Obesity, Robard Corporation Announces the Launch of Salad Spray Dressings Aimed at Making Dieting Easier PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Larry Korte   
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:45

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ — Robard Corporation, a leading provider of weight loss programs and products, today announced the launch of two new Salad Spray Dressings. Balsamic Vinaigrette and Honey Mustard come in portable sprayer bottles and not a traditional pour bottle so they help aid in portion control and are a convenient addition to diet plans.

Balsamic Vinaigrette and Honey Mustard Spray Salad Dressings contain ingredients that support fat and carbohydrate metabolism, help burn more calories, assist in protecting cell functions, and support fat burning thermogenesis. With their simple delivery system and quality nutritional makeup, the new Salad Spray Dressings were designed to maintain dieter compliance and success throughout every phase of Robard’s diversified diet programs.

Robard Corporation has launched over 20 new products in form and flavor for its customers over the last year. Its Salad Spray Dressings are the latest in an extensive product line with a goal of expanding sales and dieter retention.

For more information on Robard and its services, please visit


Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend set for March 23-25, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Tim Althaus   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:29
GALENA, Ill. – Tickets are available online now for Galena’s extremely popular Grand Tastings during Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend. This year’s event is slated for March 23-25, with Grand Tastings being offered on Friday, March 23 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. at the Galena Convention Center, 900 Galena Square Drive, in Galena, Illinois.

“This year’s Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend promises to be even more fun-filled,” said event sponsor Tim Althaus, owner, Family Beer & Liquor. “We do highly recommend early purchase for Grand Tasting tickets as we have sold out quickly in past years.”

After selling out three weeks before the event in 2009, the committee expanded to offering two Grand Tastings in 2010, both of which also sold out. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, subject to availability, and may be purchased online at

Why are the Grand Tastings so popular? They provide epicureans of all levels the opportunity to choose from more than 300 varieties of hand-picked wines and spirits to sample. Admission also provides you with a keepsake wine glass and an opportunity to win a wine-themed trip to San Francisco. Additional trip chances may be purchased for $15 each. The wine silent auction includes items such as vintage wines, artwork, large format wine bottles and related items of interest.

Now in its seventh year running, Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend is a community-wide celebration of good wine, good food and good friends. Wine lovers of all sorts are invited to enjoy three event-filled days of fine wine, culinary delight, celebrity chefs, wine makers, pampering packages and all of the stops Galena can possibly pull out.

Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend is a spirited way to warm the winter and add romance – whether it is for vino, gourmet cuisine or the love for a town with history and charm all of its own. Wine-inspired dinners, spirit tastings, spa experiences, history tours, cooking demonstrations and shopping welcome and enchant visitors.

Lodging specials and package deals fuel the passion. From dining packages to pampering in luxurious accommodations and the warmest of hospitality, Galena’s finest provide a variety of options to cater to every taste and budget.

Visit for a detailed listing of extended-weekend activities, links to lodging, and an opportunity to purchase tickets online. For information about room availability, shopping, dining, attractions, events and more, please go to, the Web site of the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, or call 877.464.2536 toll-free.

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Great River Brewery launches Root Beer in Honor of Chad Pregracke PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Larry McDonald   
Friday, 13 January 2012 14:20
Davenport, Iowa – Great River Brewery, where legendary craft brews are made has come up with a new product, and this one has gained its legendary status almost instantly. It is named in honor of environmentalist Chad Pregracke, Founder and President of Living Lands & Waters and recipient of countless awards. The product will be unveiled to the public in a tapping celebration on Wednesday January 18th at 5:00 pm at the Great River Brewery, 332 East 2nd Street, Davenport.

In announcing the new product, River Rat Root Beer, GRB Brewmaster Paul Krutzfeldt was quick to praise Pregracke. “I’m a recent transplant to the Quad Cities, but even in my landlocked former home in Iowa, I’d heard of him and the work he was doing. It’s impressive. When we opened the brewery here and Chad became a fan, it was like having a celebrity in attendance.”

Pregracke, who has been honored by Presidents and was chosen by Mitchum as “The Hardest Working Man in America,” couldn’t be more thrilled. ”When the idea for the River Rat Root Beer was first presented to me, I thought it was a fantastic idea… and an honor all in one. There are so many people who have, and continue to do great things for the Mississippi River. The Root Beer tastes awesome and promotes a great cause. I just want to thank GRB for choosing me to highlight.”

The product concept and package design was the work of longtime Quad Cities marketing strategist Larry McDonald. “Great River Brewery gave me a blank sheet of paper with this product, but I know that the brewery is very supportive of worthy causes. Living Lands & Waters naturally came to mind. After I roughed out a series of concepts, the idea of making a younger Chad the star of the package kept coming to the top. After all, he’s a heck of a role model and young people are known to drink root beer. I’m really glad that Paul chose a formulation that lives up to the standard.”

Product samples will be available and refreshments will be served. An official tapping event, open to the public, will be held that same day at 5:00 pm.

River Rat Root Beer is made with 100 per cent pure cane sugar using a traditional recipe. It is packaged in 16 ounce can four-packs and will be available in Quad Cities grocery stores within days. Great River Brewery products are currently distributed through a seven state area.

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