“Thank you for being there for me”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Feed Iowa First has created a grass-roots Community of Caring across Linn County, Iowa comprised of sponsors, corporations, urban and rural partnerships, faith organizations, community service organizations and individual volunteers. Hundreds of neighbors from every walk of life collectively contribute thousands of hours of volunteer service to grow, tend and harvest fresh, chemical-free produce that is grown specifically for the food insecure of Linn County. Since Feed Iowa First was founded in 2011, over 200,000 pounds of fresh produce have been donated to Linn County food pantries.
Total Produce Donated by Feed Iowa First
We have grown the number of urban garden partners to 25, and in 2019 distributed over 20,000 lbs of fresh produce into the community!
Total Produce Donated by Feed Iowa First in 2019
Feed Iowa First serves approximately 20-40 households at each of our regular delivery sites each week:
- River of Life Food Pantry;
- Eastern Iowa Health Clinic;
- Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association;
- Olivet Neighborhood Mission; and
When produce is in high abundance, Feed Iowa First produce is also distributed to:
- St. Vincents;
- The Linn Community Food Bank;
- Bever Park; and
- Salvation Army.
We also serve several individuals where public transportation or the cost of transportation makes coming to our Fresh Revolution Veggie Van impractical. We go directly into neighborhoods and set up, alleviating the need of transportation. All of our produce is high-quality, non-GMO, chemical free & FRESH. No leftovers. EVER.
Percentage of Chemical-Free Non-GMO Produce Grown by Feed Iowa First
Our clients are free to choose from a wide variety of produce that they will consume and enjoy. We don’t pre-pack food boxes. We believe that encourages waste. We educate our clients on simple ways (5 ingredients or less) to prepare a delicious meal with the fresh ingredients we have available. Sometimes, our clients return with not only recipes but with samples of recipes they produced with our donated produce. Feed Iowa First had a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers this year. One of our clients who filled his shopping bag with tomatoes and peppers one week returned to our Veggie Van the following week with an offering of delicious salsa. It doesn’t get better than that.
The average supermarket produce item may travel an average of 1,500 miles to reach your supermarket shelf. Feed Iowa First produce travels no more than 25 miles. And because all our produce is grown or sourced locally, we reduce transportation, fuel and environmental costs as well as reduce food waste.
Average Distance in Miles Feed Iowa First Produce Travels to Reach the Kitchen Table
Feed Iowa First provides multiple opportunities for volunteers each week, especially during the growing and harvesting seasons. Everybody who volunteers or tends a Feed Iowa First urban farm accumulates knowledge on growing their own fresh produce and its vital importance to overall health. This has encouraged many people in our community to begin gardens of their own, to support local agriculture and to advocate for sustainable food systems.
There are a number of ways you can support Feed Iowa First either financially or with an in-kind donation from our wishlist or donate your time and skills to bring fresh nutrient-dense produce to the neediest of our Linn County neighbors.