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Des Moines Public Schools
A FoodCorps seed classroom project at a Des Moines Public School.

Des Moines Public Schools

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) is the largest and one of the most diverse school districts in Iowa. It is comprised of 10 pre-K/Head Start, 39 Elementary, 11 Middle, and 5 High Schools and has a total enrollment of approximately 33,000 students. DMPS strives to have students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful at the next stage of their lives upon their graduation. The District’s goal for food education is to see an expansion in nutrition and farm to school education at more schools. They would like to graduate service members out of buildings after fostering sustainable change, in order to continue to develop all of the schools in the district with sustainable food education plans. The district would also like to bolster participation in school gardens.

Each service member will serve in 2 elementary schools that qualify for Community Eligibility Program. The service members will use the Pick a Better Snack (PABS) curriculum developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health to increase fruit and vegetable consumption with Kindergarten through third grade students. Each FoodCorps member will build upon and support school wellness teams, gardens, and after school and summer garden/nutrition programs for students and the community. FoodCorps members will be able to help with the district Wellness policy team and Farm to School efforts. Through these efforts, service members build strong relationships with school communities, which allow them to facilitate conversations around successes and challenges from food education programming. This feedback can then be passed to the district, to learn how best to support schools in their programming. In addition, as the district moves back towards scratch cooking, service members could play an important role in encouraging students to try the menu items.

FoodCorps service members with ISU Extension and Outreach are part of an Iowa cohort that includes 4 service members in 4 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

  • Understand cultural diversity and are comfortable supporting different cultures during programming
  • Have an interest or passion for working in gardens
  • Comfortable with understanding basic preparation for food and cooking

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) is the largest and one of the most diverse school districts in Iowa. It is comprised of 10 pre-K/Head Start, 39 Elementary, 11 Middle, and 5 High Schools and has a total enrollment of approximately 33,000 students. DMPS strives to have students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful at the next stage of their lives upon their graduation. The District’s goal for food education is to see an expansion in nutrition and farm to school education at more schools. They would like to graduate service members out of buildings after fostering sustainable change, in order to continue to develop all of the schools in the district with sustainable food education plans. The district would also like to bolster participation in school gardens.

Each service member will serve in 2 elementary schools that qualify for Community Eligibility Program. The service members will use the Pick a Better Snack (PABS) curriculum developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health to increase fruit and vegetable consumption with Kindergarten through third grade students. Each FoodCorps member will build upon and support school wellness teams, gardens, and after school and summer garden/nutrition programs for students and the community. FoodCorps members will be able to help with the district Wellness policy team and Farm to School efforts. Through these efforts, service members build strong relationships with school communities, which allow them to facilitate conversations around successes and challenges from food education programming. This feedback can then be passed to the district, to learn how best to support schools in their programming. In addition, as the district moves back towards scratch cooking, service members could play an important role in encouraging students to try the menu items.

FoodCorps service members with ISU Extension and Outreach are part of an Iowa cohort that includes 4 service members in 4 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

  • Understand cultural diversity and are comfortable supporting different cultures during programming
  • Have an interest or passion for working in gardens
  • Comfortable with understanding basic preparation for food and cooking