Big Apple CrunchBy Emily Hanlin

Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau Ag Communications and Administrative Assistant

STATELINE – According to, Oct. 24 is “Food Day;” a day to resolve to make changes in personal diets and to take action to solve food-related problems in communities at the local, state, and national levels. In 2015, Food Day had the theme “Toward a Greener Diet.”

“This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it,” according to the “Food Day – real food, just food” website.

Food day has inspired many to change eating habits for the better and make health conscious decisions about the food they eat. Food day has inspired more and more around the nation to take part in another campaign: The Big Apple Crunch.

The Big Apple Crunch Day, which was held on Oct. 22. It was a way for schools, businesses, nonprofits, and groups of friends to show off their excitement for Food Day and working towards a healthier diet. According to, “all you need to get involved are apples and a camera! Take pictures, then post them to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let everyone know you Crunched!”

The Big Apple Crunch is celebrated all over the nation and has been in place since 2012.

However, this year, Illinois Farm to School Network has taken advantage of this day to promote the idea of locally grown food put in school lunch programs.

According to, “The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems and preschools.”

The ultimate goal of The Big Apple Crunch this year was to rally for local grown food to be put in schools and to advocate for the healthier diets of the future generations.

“The Crunch is a simple and flexible way to get schools excited about celebrating local food. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by how complex farm to school can look, and this is a simple way to celebrate it,” Sarah Elliott, from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said.

About 1,000,000 people documented the 2013 Crunch. This year, had a goal of 1,100,000 people to post their Crunch on social media. The more people who get involved, the larger impact the campaign has. Illinois Farm to School Network and the Big Apple Crunch campaign hope that the effects of this movement will promote Congress to improve funding for the Farm to School programs.

The Illinois Farm to School Network states that the local area’s regional apple producers grow at least 320 million pounds of apples for fresh eating. Encouraging everyone to bite into a regional apple at noon on Big Apple Crunch Day, Oct. 22, was a great way to connect regional growers and students.

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