Monday, October 26, 2020

AEA Purchasing and Iowa Vendors: Food

Is this heaven? No! These are Iowa local products available to AEA Purchasing schools EVERYDAY!

In recognition of National Farm to School Month in October and Iowa Local Foods Day (celebrated the second Wednesday in October), AEA Purchasing would like to spotlight a few “local foods” available to schools participating in our Foodservice purchasing program.  

When purchasing Iowa products, schools have the satisfaction of knowing where the food they are serving is coming from as well as the pride found in supporting local Iowans. Additionally, when buying local, schools can leave a sustainable impact on the environment by using less fossil fuels in transportations, using less materials and energy to package foods for a shorter transport, and reducing the emissions associated with transporting products. 

Thanks to our market basket brokers, Affinity Group Midwest and KeyImpact Sales & Systems, Inc., we are able to share all the details on the exciting Iowa products available to our participating schools!

Smart Snack (and Sasquatch) approved Jack Link’s Jerky is produced in Underwood, Iowa.
Protein-packed, transportable, shelf stable fun. Additional product information can be found here.

Blue Bunny is made in Le Mars, Iowa.
 A Full K-12 brochure can be viewed here. Visit the Virtual Food Show presented by Wells Enterprises.

Jennie-O has 6 barns in Iowa and place around 80,000 turkeys/year.
Jennie-O ground turkey is a clean, minimally processed item. Nutritional information can be found here. Be sure to check out these great recipes from Jennie-O!

Cargill/SunnyFresh has a facility located in Mason City, IA
 as well as in neighboring midwest states of Minnesota and Michigan. Cargill has shared this great information sheet on “Fuel Their Future: Powering K-12 with Protein" initiative.

Burke Products are produced in Nevada, Iowa.
Burke produces protein toppings and ingredients for nearly every entrée imaginable. Click here to know more about this Iowa company.

SmithfieldFresh produces delicious hams in Mason City, Iowa as well fully cooked meats in Sioux City, Iowa for ease of menu versatility. Visit them online at

Kemps houses a fluid milk plant in Le Mars, Iowa with plans to produce additional products in that area soon!

What a great list of products, awesome recipe ideas and information to save for menu planning or sharing with your school district to remind everyone that together we are Iowa Strong! 

If your school is not currently participating in AEA Purchasing's Foodservice program and would like more information on the services we provide, we would love the opportunity to talk! Email

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

COVID-19 Supplies

UPDATED 10/20/2020

In light of current circumstances, AEA Purchasing would like to increase your awareness of vendor partners we have at-the-ready to serve your school and building needs for COVID-19 related supplies. Below you will find a listing of vendor partners that carry hand sanitizer, disinfectants, gloves and masks, etc.

*Please note, due to supply and demand and vendor policies during this unusual time, AEA Purchasing cannot guarantee any one vendor's inventory or availability of product. If you have concerns about ordering, please feel free to contact the vendor directly or AEA Purchasing staff.

Unless otherwise noted below, for vendor contact, ordering and contract information, click on the vendor's name to be taken to their information page on

School Health (Bid reference: Quote 3354243)
  • Masks (surgical, cloth, KN95), Face shields, Gowns, Hand sanitizer, Disinfectants, Wipes, Thermometers, Desk Dividers, Countertop Sneeze Guards, Covid Signage, Thermal Imaging Cameras, Air purifiers
  • Gloves - if ordered now (Oct.), expect delivery around December
  • If you are in need of something specific, it is strongly suggested that you reach out to Amanda Norcross ( directly.
  • Use “quote 3354243” to receive contract pricing.
School Nurse Supply (Bid reference: #AEA HEALTH 2018)
  • Hand sanitizers and stands, alcohol prep pads, alcohol surface disinfecting wipes, disposable face masks (adult, child), face shields, isolation gowns, non-contact infrared thermometers, pulse oximeter
  • Gloves: (1 case limit per size) 
  • Contact Jeff Giesel ( for quotes, to order, etc. 
  • Use “AEA Health 2018” to receive contract pricing.
State Industrial Products (Bid reference: 019-B)
  • Full line of cleaners and disinfectants available.
  • Contact Geno Vitraelli ( for quotes, to order, etc. 
  • Use “AEPA 019-B” to receive contract pricing.
School Specialty (Bid reference: AEPA IFB 019)
Hillyard (Bid reference: AEPA 019-B)
  • Adult and child size masks are available with no limits on order quantities.
  • Contact Randy Roth ( for quotes, to order, etc. 
  • Use “AEPA 019-B” to receive contract pricing.
IPI (Bid reference: AEA Purchasing)
  • IPI has set up a special page on their website for COVID-19 solutions.
  • Orders for most of these products are not being accepted on the website due to somewhat limited supplies, although they do have stock of the items listed on it.
  • TO ORDER: Schools need to call in their orders to IPI Customer Service office (800-332-7922) and request the AEA discount.
National Business Furniture (Bid reference: AEPA Bid #018-D)
Busch Systems (Bid reference: AEPA Bid #019-B)
FSG Lighting (Bid Reference: AEPA IFB 018-B LED Lighting)
  • UV and germicidal lighting solutions
  • Contact Alyssa Mika (855-642-1109,, for quotes, product information or to place an order.
  • Use "AEPA Bid #018-B LED Lighting" to receive contract pricing.
Partac Peat (Bid Reference: AEPA-AEA Bid #018.5C"
B&H Photo (Bid Reference: 81952525870 STB2020AEAPURCH) 
  • Face masks & shields, gloves
  • Partition room dividers, sneeze guards
  • Sanitizers/sterilization, hand sanitizer stations, air purifiers
  • Temperature screening
  • Order: Carla F. Humphreys, 212.239.7500 x2069,
  • Use "81952525870 STB2020AEAPURCH" to receive contract pricing
Regardless of what you order or who you order from, all vendors highly encourage ordering early as well as ordering for only what you need for a specified amount of time (1 month supply vs 6 month supply) to help in allocation of resources and to avoid stockpiling, product spoilage, etc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Today is Iowa Local Food day!

Today is Iowa Local Food Day! AEA Purchasing is proud to support our area schools in their efforts of buy to buy and serve from local supplier. 

On this very special day, participating K-12 school districts, colleges childcare centers and homes are encourage to serve menus featuring local ingredients. To participate, sites must serve at least 2 local items for breakfast or lunch. 

Iowa Local Food Day is an initiative from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as a way to bring together all sectors of Farm to School to celebrate Iowa-grown food! Earmarks of this day include:

  • Providing a strong support network
  • Aiding food service directors in local food procurement
  • Engaging farmers in growing and selling to schools
  • Helping farmers ramp up school sales by working on a smaller scale with Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP)
  • Allowing Farm to School activities to expand beyond fruits and vegetables
  • Raising awareness of the Farm to School program across the state
For more information on this initiative, visit

New from Rosetta: Rosetta Stone English!

Rosetta Stone is very excited to expand their partnership with AEA Purchasing to include their groundbreaking new English learning program, Rosetta Stone English!

Rosetta Stone English is an adaptive, blended learning program designed for K-6 Emergent Bilinguals (also known as English learners). The program is completely aligned to ELPA21 standards and provides educators with real-time progress data within ELPA21 bands while highlighting specific areas where learners may be struggling so teachers are able to maximize their valuable instructional time with their students.

Emergent Bilingual students are celebrated within the program and their heritage language and culture is treated as an asset. Instruction is delivered through 17 characters, each of them having their own rich backstory, heritage language and culture that students learn while progressing throughout the program. Learners are able to see a reflection of themselves while they learn in these characters, which increases engagement.

Rosetta Stone will continue to offer Foundations for K-12 for World Language as well as for English learners in grades 7-12. Effective immediately, all orders will include online Professional Development sessions with Rosetta Stone's Training team to ensure that their solutions are as effective as possible for every school and district's unique needs.

For additional information regarding Rosetta Stone's language learning solutions, please reach out to:

Ben Steelman
Mobile: 540-705-4739

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

"Now Playing: School Lunch!"

October 12-16 is National School Lunch Week!  This year's theme is "Now Playing: School Lunch!"  

Did you know that the National School Lunch Program serves nearly 30 million children each school day?  

AEA Purchasing is proud to work with schools all across Iowa to help with food procurement. 

Check out to learn more about National School Lunch Week and ways your school can celebrate! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Vendor Profile: Proquest


ProQuest provides a broad catalog of online resources and tools that help students improve their research skills and spark their curiosity. 

In addition to database, newspaper and eBook collections on a variety of subjects, ProQuest also offers the following tools to assist with research instruction and learning:

  • CultureGrams® helps students understand the world around them and think critically about global cultures.
  • SIRS® Discoverer® enables young researchers to develop research, writing, language and computer skills.
  • eLibrary® makes it easy for students to choose research topics and support their research claims.
In partnership with AEA Purchasing, ProQuest is pleased to offer discounted pricing on their products to Iowa schools. For more information, visit their profile page here on our website or contact:

David Ulrich ,Account Manager for K-12 Sales              
800-521-0600 (Dial by name)

Friday, October 2, 2020

We Are AEA Purchasing!


At AEA Purchasing, our vision is to collaborate with Iowa schools in providing a world-class student experience. We do that by offering ethical procurement services, resources, and support to ensure prudent use of school resources.

Our staff show up for Iowa's schools every day, driven by the core values of honesty and integrity. Every ounce of effort put into our operations is guided by the philosophy of  providing strategic sourcing and sensational service. 

The next time you are in need of assistance with any area of your procurement or would like more information on how AEA Purchasing's services can help lighten your workload, please reach out to one of the friendly folks below.

We are AEA Purchasing!

Barb Adams | Administrative Assistant–Food
Office Location: Cedar Falls
In 2018, Barb came to AEA Purchasing to assist with day to day operations and facilitate the partnership between awarded vendors, manufacturer representatives and members of our food program.

Meg Brink, RD, LD, SNS | Food Program Consultant
Office Location: Elkader

Since 2016, Meg has supported school nutrition professionals across the great state of Iowa with child nutrition program (CNP) advocacy, procurement of foodservice related goods and services, education opportunities and assistance to ensure compliance with USDA-FNS CNP policy expectations.

Clif Cameron | Food Program Consultant
Office Location: Dubuque
Clif is a new addition to the AEA Purchasing team with over 16 years in the food service industry, including the past six as a school foodservice director. Clif is excited to bring his knowledge and passion for food and school nutrition to the AEA Purchasing group.

Molly Gilmore, MS, RD, LD | Food Program Consultant
Office Location: Sioux Center
Molly Gilmore is new to AEA Purchasing. Her background as a dietitian includes clinical, population health, and foodservice experience. Molly looks forward to meeting new people and helping them with their food program needs.

Laurie Hoing, CPPB | Purchasing Coordinator
Office Location: Johnston
Laurie joined AEA Purchasing in 2015 and brought with her 14+ years of
public procurement experience. She handles all technology and library related procurement activities and contracts, and also facilitates the twice-a-year paper bid.

Joni Puffett | Purchasing Coordinator
Office Location: Delhi
Since 2009, Joni has helped Iowa schools and AEAs meet their procurement needs by playing an active role in cooperative procurement advocacy, agency marketing, and contract administration for a variety of contracts across multiple purchasing programs.