I have volunteered with Local Foods Connection for the last three years. I was drawn to the organization because they are the only group I know of that works to connect low-income individuals with fresh, local, organically produced vegetables and fruits, while educating families about farming, food, and the land. I have seen firsthand the astonishing amount of work that goes into this all-volunteer organization. I would encourage anyone who can to devote some time to LFC to help them fulfill their mission of providing fresh, local produce to people in need. There is always a need for extra hands in the office, on farm days, and for community events. LFC, thank you for your hard work in making our community a more just and welcoming place to live. I have seen firsthand the difference that LFC makes in client families' lives.
I have known Local Foods Connection for over a couple of years now. I first helped out in the summer of 2007 when I accompanied families in the program who receive CSA shares out to the farms which supply the produce. Most of these families, especially the children, had little experience with farms. These trips, then, became an amazing interactive learning experience in which the farmer(s) delightfully answered any and all questions. In driving the families out to the farms, I had the opportunity to hear how grateful they were to have the shares, because it allowed them to eat more nutritiously. And in some cases, I had the opportunity to hear the personal stories that really emphasized the necessity of programs like LFC. My experience with LFC that summer led me (with some help from LFC) to start a similar program in Grinnell, IA. We have purchased CSA shares from local farmers for area families for two summers now. It has been a tough project for us to coordinate, because we've been working with disadvantaged families who have little access to transportation and who sometimes have multiple jobs. But that just goes to show how inspiring it is that LFC continues to be successful and to help more families. I know that there is much more work to be done when it comes to building a just (local) foods system in Iowa and LFC is the group to do it.