- State Program Coordinator:Nathan Spalding
- State Partner Supervisor:Chelsea Krist
For more information on getting involved with FoodCorps in Iowa, please contact Nathan.
Why Serve In Iowa?
From the rolling bluffs of Dubuque to the rich tradition of seed saving at Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa puts the “heart” in Heartland. Steeped in agricultural history, Iowa is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world. People from all over the world are making Iowa home; there are many diverse cultures, great food, and people to meet. Some local treasures include world-famous Seed Savers Exchange, the Iowa State Fair, and RAGBRAI- the world’s largest bicycle touring event! Communities across Iowa are growing food to feed their families, friends, and neighbors, through Farmers Markets, CSAs, grocery stores, restaurants, and last but definitely not least, in our schools.
Momentum for Farm to School is growing, with over two-dozen active chapters, and state initiatives like Iowa Department of Public Health’s Pick a Better Snack program. Despite a flourishing local food scene and agricultural history, access to healthy, fresh food remains a privilege. Much of Iowa is rural, where poverty is hidden and families face food insecurity. FoodCorps is an important partner in connecting kids and communities to real food. Service members will have opportunities to engage with students, farmers, teachers, and community leaders to help build capacity to sustain programs for years to come. In Iowa we serve with heart to make lasting change within our food system.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Food Program Team’s work focuses on supporting resilient food systems and healthy communities through research, education, and community engagement with diverse partners. They use three strategies to achieve this goal: (1) support community-based learning and decision-making that honors local realities, cultures and values; (2) support an interdisciplinary approach to food systems change by fostering connections between people, institutions, infrastructure, natural environment, economics and policy; and (3) seek change opportunities by committing to a systems approach.