The Great Apple Crunch is a fun way for schools to celebrate local agriculture and eat delicious, fresh apples. The Crunch is a regional event that takes place across the Great Lakes region in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. 2017 was our third year celebrating local apples in October, and we are growing! In 2015 – year one – 35,000 Illinois students participated in the Crunch. In 2016, a total of 339,103 Illinois students participated in the Crunch. In 2017, 1,543,781 students in the Great Lakes Region crunched into apples including 469,848 students in Illinois! We are thrilled and excited that so many Illinois sites have registered to participate. The Crunch is our second fastest growing Farm to School activity, bypassed only by our school garden programs! You can view the Illinois Apple Crunch reports here.

The Illinois Great Apple Crunch is brought to schools by a partnership of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Ag in the Classroom, Illinois Farm to School Network, Illinois Specialty Crop Growers Association and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. You can read about the developing market for Illinois apple growers here.

Did you know adults can Crunch, too?

Illinois businesses and organizations can join the Crunch and enjoy local apples on Crunch day! Register your office or workplace, locate an orchard or store near you to purchase local apples, and Crunch with us at noon. Be sure to post pictures on social media using the hashtags #ILapplecrunch, #f2smonth #GreatAppleCrunch.

2015 Inaugural Quick Facts:

  • In 2015, 35,000 students in the Great Lakes Region crunched into apples on Crunch Day. That’s a lot of apples!
  • Over $40,000 of local apples were purchased for the Crunch, which brought a huge amount of money into our local food and farm economy.
  • Students throughout the large school districts of the Midwest, including Chicago, also participated in the Midwest Menu: a local lunch featuring apples, potatoes, and a local hamburger and bun.