Our Host Organization
NCAT is a national nonprofit with regional offices in six states, including Iowa. Founded in 1976, NCAT’s mission is to help people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. We do this through a wide variety of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture projects, most notably ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. NCAT’s Midwest office, located in Des Moines, also serves as the Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network.
Why Serve In Iowa?
Iowa is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world and rich in agricultural history including strong 4H and Future Farmers of America programs.
The Iowa Farm to School program has over two-dozen active chapters, and state programs like Iowa Department of Public Health's Pick a Better Snack provide nutrition educators, as well as fresh fruits and veggies snacks for kids.
From college towns, like Iowa City and Ames, to unique communities like Fairfield and the Amana Colonies, Iowa is soaked in tradition. You can still find headcheese at Polashek's Locker and try your hand at making lefse at Decorah’s Nordic Fest. There are also gems you won’t want to miss such as the world-famous Seed Saver’s Exchange and, or course, the Iowa State Fair (sorry folks, the Corn Palace is in South Dakota).
Despite an up-and-coming local food scene and a rich agricultural history, access to healthy, fresh food is still privilege. Much of Iowa is rural where poverty is hidden and families face the reality of food insecurity. FoodCorps is needed to reconnect kids to their farming roots and inspire the next generation to be healthy.