We are Local Foods Connection, a group of Iowa City community activists who donate fresh produce to needy families in southeast Iowa.
Our Purpose Since 1999
Local Foods Connection purchases produce, bread, eggs, meat and other products from local earth-friendly farms and donates these goods to families who cannot afford such nutritious, tasty and fresh food. We provide opportunities for families to visit a farm and to learn healthy cooking methods. With your support, we assist families in need of a helping hand, strengthen our local foods network and empower the farmers who live and work just outside of your neighborhood.
Families Who Care
Local Foods Connection works with families who, throughout a four- to five-month period, are committed to preparing good, healthy meals using our donated produce. We are matched with families who care about what they eat and the environment in which they live with the help of local charitable, religious, and social service organizations, such as the Arc of Johnson County, the Johnson County Crisis Center and the University of Iowa Lion’s Club.
Our families include single mothers, immigrants, racial minorities and people with exceptional medical needs. In 1999, 15% of the Johnson County population lived below the federal poverty level. Another 12% were eligible for food assistance programs. Limited household income can hinder access to nutritious foods.
We enroll families in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. CSAs link people with their food, the land on which their food is grown, and the farmers who grow and produce it.
Small Family Farmers
We purchase goods from farmers who use sustainable farming practices, such as growing vegetables without chemical pesticides and raising animals in a humane environment. Farmers in Iowa City, Solon, Brighton, West Branch, Atalissa and Wellman provide us with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and eggs through CSA shares.
A share is a promise of a box full of fresh produce every week for about twenty weeks. A box is filled with a mixture of vegetables ready for harvest, from greens, turnips and radishes in the spring to squash, eggplant and potatoes in the fall. Shares can include bread, eggs, fruit and flowers. CSA members pay for their shares in the spring, guaranteeing farmers the income to produce the crop, and CSA farmers supply members with high-quality, affordable food throughout the growing season. Local Foods Connection purchases chickens and turkeys from Kalona farmers.
For 2007, we plan to enroll 30 families and organizations in CSAs. We will continue our expansion to Fairfield, North Liberty, and Des Moines.
What You Can Do
You are invited to make a financial donation to Local Foods Connection and to volunteer. If you know of an organization which might be interested in referring a family to us, please request a Sponsor Form.
Your donation is safe: Local Foods Connection is a state-certified non-profit organization. In addition, we are 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, so your contribution is tax deductible. More than 90 cents of your donation dollar goes directly to our families and local farmers, with a small portion paying for office supplies. You can make a donation here.