1. Some of the Different Ways LFC Serves the Community
Local Foods Connection enrolls low-income families in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups run by local, small family farmers. As a member of a CSA, a family receives a box of produce every week for approximately 20 weeks. We try to reach low-income individuals who don’t need a whole CSA share through social service agencies, such as the Johnson County Domestic Violence Intervention Program and the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic. We enroll these agencies in CSAs and they divide up the weekly delivery of fresh produce among their clients. The Free Medical Clinic offers the chemical-free fruits and vegetables to the participants in their “Healthy Neighborhood Challenge” class, which teaches them about nutrition and exercise.
For the agencies and institutions our organization cannot afford to enroll in a CSA, we help them make connections with local farmers in other ways.
2. Elder Services at Ecumenical Towers, Iowa City
The Elder Services office in Ecumenical Towers, Iowa City, built a relationship with ZJ Farm of Solon this season. Ecumenical Towers serves the low-income and disabled elderly. Farmer Susan Jutz donated all of her extras from the Wednesday Iowa City Farmer’s Market to the Ecumenical Towers. Laura Dowd gave a presentation about local farms, gardening and fresh food to a group at the Towers. Laura and Emma Duer took some residents to ZJ Farm for a visit.
Here is a wonderful letter the people from Ecumenical Towers sent to our office. (Dianne and resident ‘LW’ helped LFC manage their distribution):
Dear Laura, Susan and each of those who work with you,
I would like to add my sincere thanks to you for ‘adopting’ the persons at Ecumenical Towers to receive the extra vegetables from your stand at the Farmer’s Market. This provided an opportunity for many, who may not otherwise, to receive fresh, nutritious, locally grown vegetables. Local Foods Connection is a wonderful program! We would love to participate again next year.
Service Coordinator, Ecumenical Towers
I wish to thank you for the nourishing, delicious food I have received these recent months through your kindness, generosity, hard work and dedication. Dedication to an ideal that each person deserves the total goodness Life has to offer.
Please accept my gratitude and wishes that only Good enter your lives and that all your endeavors meet with success. Those signed below share my wishes and gratitude as recipients of the ‘extras’ here at Ecumenical Towers. -LW
Dear LW, so very thankful for all your efforts. -PL
Dear LW, this extra effort from you has given each of us much joy. Thank you. -JQ
The enjoyment and sincere feelings of community in our building is deepened by the Generosity and efforts of you all, and our neighbors, LW and others. -Your appreciative neighbor DT
Gods Blessings -SR
Thank you -KY
Thank you and God Bless -EZ
Many thanks for all the healthful garden goodies -LY
Thank you very much. God bless you -E
Really appreciated the nice fresh vegetables. Thanks a lot. -IR
Thanks to all who produced and all who carried food to Ecumenical Towers. -ES
3. Elizabeth Tate Alternative High School, Iowa City
Local Foods Connection helped Elizabeth Tate Alternative High School in Iowa City make a connection with a local farm this year as well. Elizabeth Tate High School provides an alternative education program based upon the unique needs of students who require individualized plans, a modified schedule, small student teacher ratio, instructional strategies that focus on multiple learning styles, and an individual learning pace. The school has a garden and a working kitchen in which they teach students about cooking and nutrition.
This fall, the school received garden extras from Dirty Face Creek Farm run by Micheal and Jessica Stutsman in Hills. Local Foods Connection volunteers harvested tomatoes and apples from the Stutsman’s farm and delivered the goods to the welcoming arms of staff and students. When a teacher saw us pull up with our first delivery of over a dozen boxes of freshly-picked food, he said with astonishment, “There is a lot of love in the back seat of that car!” Among other home-made items, the students canned their own fresh salsa with the ingredients.
Everyone at the school and at Local Foods Connection thanks Michael and Jessica for their generosity. We extend our condolences to the Stutsman family for the loss of Michael this past week in a farming accident. Michael was an open-heartened and joyful person we are fortunate to have spent time with this past year.
A memorial has been established at Hills Bank and Trust Co. for the care and education of Michael and Jessica’s daughter, Sophie May.