Founded in 2011 by Sonia Kendrick, Feed Iowa First began as a summer project to grow and provide fresh vegetables to food banks. The Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was Sonia’s first partner, letting her use 1/2 acre of land to plant her garden.
The response from the Cedar Rapids community and from people who received the fresh produce was amazing—and led Sonia to realize that her model of urban farming could make a significant difference in Iowa’s food system.
By partnering with schools, faith organizations, community agencies and corporations of all sizes, Feed Iowa First finds open spaces to grow fresh produce that’s harvested to supply those in need with nutritious food. In 2017, Feed Iowa First donated over 38,000 lbs of fresh produce to pantries across Linn County. Feed Iowa First also helps support beginning farmers through training and investments that ensure the next generation of farmers and food production
To combat food insecurity by growing food and farmers.
- All the people of Iowa are valuable, no matter what ability they have to feed themselves.
- Iowa’s land is a priceless resource that belongs to its people, and it should be protected for future generations.
- Farming is hard work. Iowa’s farmland and its ownership should be accessible to anyone who wishes to manage it.
- Variety in our farming systems—of both scale and product—creates a stronger Iowa.
- The fact that Iowa has the best soil in the world means there should not be a hungry man, woman, or, especially, child in the state.
- It is dangerous—physically and spiritually—to have a food system that is transportation-based.
- We can recover pride in our land and our farming heritage by restoring our ability to feed ourselves.
- We must refrain from boasting that Iowa feeds the world until we feed Iowa first.