For the second straight year, the City of Iowa City has recognized Local Foods Connection with a coveted Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), money that is provided to the city from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to support organizations that address the needs of lower income citizens. While LFC received a $2,474 award for fiscal year 2007/08, we received $1500 for 2008/09 due to a dwindling pool of available funds. The award will go to partially fund the full time (plus!) work of Executive Director Laura Dowd.
We’re thrilled to have been recognized by the city during such a competitive grant cycle. After submitting our application, a Housing and Community Development Commission held public meetings to review all of the applications and then made recommendations to the Iowa City Council. The City Council decided to fund the proposal from LFC, along with several large housing projects, the Economic Development Fund, and several other public facilities and public services projects, including Arc of Southeast Iowa, MECCA, Extend the Dream Foundation, and the Free Medical Clinic. We’re grateful to have been included in such impressive company.
Local Foods Connection was awarded this money on the grounds that, in keeping with the goals of CITY STEPS (the City’s consolidated plan), LFC will “promote a continuum of care within the community that includes jobs, housing and services for low-moderate income persons.” While Local Foods Connection works with low-moderate income individuals well beyond the borders of Iowa City, the CDBG funds were awarded based on our impact directly within the Iowa City community. While Local Foods Connection began its life serving one family in 1999, that number has skyrocketed to 45 clients and agencies in 6 cities in 2007, including 20 Iowa City families. In 2009, we hope to serve 25 Iowa City families and 6 Iowa City agencies, including DVIP, Free Medical Clinic, HACAP Headstart, Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, Shelter House, and STAR Program.
Local Foods Connection helps social service agencies within Iowa City’s continuum of care assist approximately 258 individuals to establish a more suitable living environment for themselves by providing them with fresh, healthy foods and nutrition education. With increases in both their health and their ability to care for themselves, these individuals will have a better chance to become successful, independent members of the community. No other agency in Iowa City buys large quantities of fresh, seasonal produce items from area farmers and donates them to low-moderate income families. In addition, no other agency provides an incentive plan to its clients for participating in nutrition education.
We think that we provide an important service to the Iowa City community; thank you to the City of Iowa City for agreeing with us!