Iowa Gardeners Help Fight Food Insecurity

Volunteers at Grow: Johnson County tend to fresh produce that will eventually be donated to those in need. Photo: Grow: Johnson County.

Fresh produce can go a long way for those in need of food. These organizations, which you can help support via donations or volunteerism, are putting their gardening passions to good use.

Grow: Johnson County: This Iowa City acreage donates more than 25,000 pounds of food to partner agencies around the county. The farm is managed by a mix of volunteers and staffers, and sustainability is a big focus, including cover cropping, beneficial insect habitat, and organic pest and weed management.

Story County Plant a Row for the Hungry: This Ames branch of a national program encourages local gardeners to plant a little extra and donate it to local food pantries or other food distribution organizations. Even Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens maintains a small garden to donate to those in need.

Up From the Earth: Founded eight years ago by retired dentist Randy Burnight, this Sioux City organization connects home gardeners—many of whom have been urged to plant a little extra to share—with collection points that quickly transport food to pantries. The organization has a system of 25 collection sites, each run by a produce coordinator.

Iowa Stops Hunger is a Business Publications Corporation initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa.

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