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Black Hawk County Health Department

The Black Hawk County Health Department was established as a full-service agency in 1969 under the authority of Chapter 137 of the Code of Iowa. We exist to ensure that people in our community have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilling, and longer lives. Our mission is to protect people in our community from health hazards, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease. We recognize that inequity, in the form of racism and discrimination, is a public health crisis and that systemic inequities exist where we live, work, play, learn, and worship. The health department partners with the Waterloo Community School District to provide direct education including the Pick a Better Snack program, nutrition, school garden, and farm to school education. The department also works alongside the school to support policy, system, and environment changes related to health and wellness. Waterloo Community School District contains 19 schools and 10,434 students. The district’s race and ethnicity minority enrollment is 60%. Also, 70.2% of students are economically disadvantaged in low socio-economic status. 16.3% of students in Waterloo schools have an IEP and 12% are English Language Learners. Service members play a critical role connecting schools to community stakeholders and serving as strategists for transformative change. This is made possible by the strong relationships service members build in schools via direct programming.

Service members will support and promote healthy school environments by meeting the following requirements:

  • Teach or co-teach hands-on lessons in Waterloo school classrooms and gardens
  • Be a regular presence and positive role model in the school cafeteria
  • Participate on district and building level school wellness and garden committees
  • Collaborate with and engage students, staff, families, and community partners
  • Enhance the built environment of outdoor learning spaces and gardens to increase ease and access to food, gardening, outdoor education, and physical activity with a Socio-Emotional Learning guiding principle

The City of Waterloo is the county seat of Black Hawk County, as of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 67,314, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. The city is dedicated to providing cultural attractions, parks and recreation to meet the unique and diverse needs of the community and enhance the quality of life. The City of Waterloo provides services that contribute to a healthy community, a rich culture, and a beautiful place to live, work and play. For a calendar of events and more information visit ExperienceWaterloo.com

FoodCorps service members with Black Hawk County Health Department are part of an Iowa cohort that includes 9 service members in 3 communities across the state. 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. FoodCorps 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.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience or interest in gardening and food access
  • Equity focused
  • Be a subject matter expert in areas of responsibility
  • Communicate openly
  • Encourage cooperation and cohesion
  • Build healthy relationships with communities
  • Be part of the solution, resilient and purpose minded
  • Ask for and offer honest feedback

The Black Hawk County Health Department was established as a full-service agency in 1969 under the authority of Chapter 137 of the Code of Iowa. We exist to ensure that people in our community have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilling, and longer lives. Our mission is to protect people in our community from health hazards, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease. We recognize that inequity, in the form of racism and discrimination, is a public health crisis and that systemic inequities exist where we live, work, play, learn, and worship. The health department partners with the Waterloo Community School District to provide direct education including the Pick a Better Snack program, nutrition, school garden, and farm to school education. The department also works alongside the school to support policy, system, and environment changes related to health and wellness. Waterloo Community School District contains 19 schools and 10,434 students. The district’s race and ethnicity minority enrollment is 60%. Also, 70.2% of students are economically disadvantaged in low socio-economic status. 16.3% of students in Waterloo schools have an IEP and 12% are English Language Learners. Service members play a critical role connecting schools to community stakeholders and serving as strategists for transformative change. This is made possible by the strong relationships service members build in schools via direct programming.

Service members will support and promote healthy school environments by meeting the following requirements:

  • Teach or co-teach hands-on lessons in Waterloo school classrooms and gardens
  • Be a regular presence and positive role model in the school cafeteria
  • Participate on district and building level school wellness and garden committees
  • Collaborate with and engage students, staff, families, and community partners
  • Enhance the built environment of outdoor learning spaces and gardens to increase ease and access to food, gardening, outdoor education, and physical activity with a Socio-Emotional Learning guiding principle

The City of Waterloo is the county seat of Black Hawk County, as of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 67,314, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. The city is dedicated to providing cultural attractions, parks and recreation to meet the unique and diverse needs of the community and enhance the quality of life. The City of Waterloo provides services that contribute to a healthy community, a rich culture, and a beautiful place to live, work and play. For a calendar of events and more information visit ExperienceWaterloo.com

FoodCorps service members with Black Hawk County Health Department are part of an Iowa cohort that includes 9 service members in 3 communities across the state. 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. FoodCorps 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.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience or interest in gardening and food access
  • Equity focused
  • Be a subject matter expert in areas of responsibility
  • Communicate openly
  • Encourage cooperation and cohesion
  • Build healthy relationships with communities
  • Be part of the solution, resilient and purpose minded
  • Ask for and offer honest feedback