The World Food Prize Foundation

Organizations Fighting Hunger

Drake University Community Engaged Learning Program

2507 University Ave
Des Moines
IA 50311
Ms. Renee Sedlacek Lee
Organization Type
Community Based


The Drake University Community Engaged Learning Program is a set of partnerships between Drake University students, faculty, alumni, and staff and charitable organizations in the Greater Des Moines metropolitan area. Each partnership with the Community Engaged Learning Program is designed to meet a community need while building the knowledge and skill sets of students. 

Currently, students are actively engaged in the alleviation of food insecurity through three signature projects:

Sprout Garden - The garden is sponsored by State Farm, Drake University, and The Boys and Girls Club of Iowa. It is a place for all ages to gather, learn, explore, eat, and see what a garden can provide our community. 

Next Course Food Recovery - Previously, all of this food went to waste. Now, Drake University and Sodexo are excited to announce the start of a food recovery program! This campus chapter, Next Course, follows the lead of the Food Recovery Network. With the help of students, Next Course will help relocate food resources to provide nutritious meals to people in need in the Des Moines area.

Little Pantries–Drake Neighborhood - The Drake Neighborhood Little Free Pantry Project began in summer 2017. The motto of the pantries, modeled after the Little Free Pantry program launched in Fayetteville, Ark., during summer 2016, is "Take what you need, leave what you can." People are welcome to take or leave non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. Any produce, homemade goods, unsealed items, or refrigerated products should not be placed in the pantries. The pantries are installed on Drake's Campus and at seven other locations throughout Des Moines. Join the initiative by following the project’s Facebook page: Little Pantries–Drake Neighborhood. The page will allow community members to stay up to date on the installation progress and what needs to be done to help keep the pantries stocked and successful.

How to Help:

Drake University students, faculty, alumni, and staff can contact Ms. Sedlacek for opportunities to become volunteer service-learners. Community organizations in Greater Des Moines should contact her to explore partnerships with the Drake University Community Engaged Learning Program.

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