The Jasper County Master Gardeners are Growing Together to fight food insecurity in our community.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Jasper County Master Gardener program has been working hard this spring and summer to fight hunger in Jasper County. Thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture SNAP-Education funding, Jasper County Master Gardeners received one of 22 “Growing Together” mini-grants awarded to Master Gardeners across Iowa in 2019.
SNAP-Education aims to make healthy choices easier for families with limited income. One in 8 Iowans is food insecure, meaning they do not have access to sufficient food to make up a healthy diet. ISU Extension and Outreach partners with communities and organizations working to provide Iowans with low food access and income with increased access to nutritious locally produced food, and greater voice and participation in the state’s community food systems.
The Jasper County Master Gardeners “Growing Together Donation Garden” site is made possible by in-kind support from the Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus. Master Gardener volunteers have worked very hard this year with their Growing Together Donation Garden and raising awareness about food insecurity, while growing fresh produce for the local food pantry.
To date, the Growing Together project has facilitated the donation of 575 pounds of fresh produce to the Food Pantry of Jasper County, located inside the Salvation Army, 301 N. Second Ave. E. The donated produce, valued at more than $970, has provided more than 300 Jasper County families with nutritious food options that they would not typically be able to access. The Donation Garden will continue producing until the first fall frost.
The Master Gardener volunteers are committed to supporting healthy food access to increase food security in Jasper County. If would like to know more about this project, or if you are interested in horticulture and like to help your community, the Master Gardeners would love to have you join them. If you would like to know more about becoming a Master Gardener, call Carol Camp at 641-792-6433.