Local Foods Connection’s mission is to enhance Grinnell’s sustainable food system by making it more accessible to families and individuals with limited means.
We aim to increase the opportunities for these community members to enjoy fresh, healthy food, connect with local farmers, and expand their skills and knowledge of cooking and nutrition. As of March 2017, Local Foods Connection moved operations to Grinnell, IA, from Iowa City where it had operated 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 serve our community. Our vision is a local sustainable food system that is accessible to everyone.
On our client referral form we ask our community partners (MICA, SEG, GMA) to help us identify those with the greatest need. We target those who are low-income, but who also might have a permanent physical disability, mental illness, families with children, homeless youth, veterans, abuse victims and at-risk elderly.
Once a family or agency is accepted into Local Foods Connection, they will learn about and have access to fresh, local food. They might receive:
- credit to a booth at the Farmers Market,
- credit on a wholesale purchasing account with a farm, or
- be enrolled in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. Learn more about CSAs here: LocalHarvest.org/CSA
Meet our Local partners
Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell
The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG) is a 501(c)(3) microfinance nonprofit located in Grinnell, Iowa, that seeks to empower individuals through microloans internationally and locally. In Spring of 2015, SEG reorganized to become a community-based volunteer organization and continues to provide small zero-interest loans to those who have an emergency need.
Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA) is a private, nonprofit organization serving children and families in central Iowa. MICA provides early childhood, health, family development and housing services as well as community enrichment programs. MICA, in collaboration with other community partners, leads efforts to strengthen families and communities.
Grinnell Ministerial Association is a small organization in the membership organizations industry located in Grinnell, IA. It opened its doors in 2008 as a community resource for those needing support. The organization calls to love all, and widen the circle of compassion.
The Station Clubhouse is dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness by providing opportunities for our members to live, work and learn while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support.
Dr. Jennifer Paisley is a new member of the GRMC’s internal medicine department. Paisley’s interest in obesity medicine and management is complementary to services already offered at GRMC. Poweshiek County’s community health needs assessment ranked obesity as one of the highest priorities in need of change. Paisley is enthusiastic about developing a community-wide program to address the obesity issue.
Food Recovery Network is national organization with a Grinnell College chapter. The campus group is dedicated to recovering surpluses of food from the dining hall and distributing the food to community partners as well as directly to those in need.