The World Food Prize Foundation

February 2019

Breakout Sessions provide an opportunity for 500+ attendees of the Iowa Hunger Summit to engage in in-depth conversations with Iowa’s many active initiatives working to alleviate food insecurity and offers participants tangible tools for further engagement locally and around the world.

This year we are offering two different opportunities for organizations to engage with our 500+ attendees through breakout sessions: General Breakout Sessions +Student Breakout Sessions

For more information, visit our website


Last year, over 1,200 volunteers helped grow and donate approximately 180,000 lbs of fresh vegetables to food pantries in Iowa as part of Iowa Gardening for Good. This was the project's fifth year donating produce, such as: peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, sweet corn, zucchini and winter squash. Gardening for Good has established non-profit status, which enabled them to produce food for less than 18 cents a pound, along with the help of so many volunteers.

Growing Local!

Iowa Gardening for Good's mission is to help people learn about locally grown food. Iowans are interested in fresh and local produce but their experience is often limited to going to a farmer’s market. The organization provides an opportunity that not only helps feed the hungry, but allows people to get hands-on experience planting or picking produce. 

Planting Strategy

Iowa Gardening for Good employs strategies, such as using plastic mulch and watering with drip irrigation to reduce weeding. The result is a more pleasant and productive experience where volunteers can keep their focus on planting and harvesting. For most groups, they are able to tell how many plants or miles of rows they planted or how many pounds they harvested. Many volunteers find the opportunity to be a great experience they can participate in without the longer commitment of growing their own garden.

Running on Volunteer Power

Iowa Gardening for Good typically operates by scheduling groups or individuals to come and help several times a week to plant and harvest. Most interested groups signed up for 1-2 dates and were typically in groups of 5-30, but some were as large as 150. Some of the groups include, but aren't limited to, families, corporate groups, schools, churches, scout groups and summer programs. They even had groups from out of state and one all the way from Japan!

Where to Find Them

Iowa Gardening for Good's base location is located between Ames and Des Moines on a farm near Madrid, Iowa. They are open on Saturdays throughout the season for individuals wanting to drop in and help without prior sign up. During the week, they are usually looking for 2-3 additional groups to help and schedule these groups by appointment. Appointments can be accommodated any time of the day or evening. There is no cost to participate and volunteers do not need any special equipment. The organization welcomes kids of all ages come out, as long as they are accompanied by someone to supervise them.

Donations Matter

Because Iowa Gardening for Good donate all that's produced, they rely on donations to support their program. For each dollar they receive, their goal is to be able to produce and donate approximately 5 lbs. of locally grown produce for local food pantries.

Learn More
To learn more about this program and get involved:

Interested in volunteering or contributing? 
Contact: Tracy Blackmer


Help the World Food Prize celebrate Dr. Borlaug’s 105th Birth Anniversary by posting on March 25 using the hashtag#RememberingBorlaug. Share your favorite images of Dr. Borlaug, your personal photo with Dr. Borlaug or even a great memory!

Search #RememberingBorlaug on March 25 to read all the incredible stories of Dr. Norman Borlaug. You will be able to realize how many lives he has impacted and how his work continues to inspire individuals all over the world.

Want to read more quotes and insights from people Norman Borlaug inspired?

For stories to read, visit: NormanBorlaugStories



10th Annual Feed Greater Des Moines Conference
Wednesday, March 6
Grand View University 
Des Moines, IA

Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Society Central Iowa Food Drive 
Thursday, March 28
Torrent Brewery
Ames, Iowa

Harkin on Wellness Symposium 
Wednesday, April 3
Parents Hall, Olmsted Center
Des Moines, IA

The Poverty Simulation
Monday, March 18
East High School
Des Moines, IA

2019 Community Food Systems Program Annual Event
Friday, March 29
Ramada Tropics Resort & Conference Center
Des Moines, IA

Chefs Take A Stand
Friday, April 5
Isle Casino Hotel
Waterloo, IA

Join The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement for the 2019 Harkin on Wellness Symposium on April 3 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Drake University. The event is free and open to the public. 

This year's symposium will bring together stakeholders in the field of food systems, including lawmakers, farmers, distributors, agriculture and food policy experts, and health care professionals to discuss how we can modernize our food systems through system and policy innovation to support human health and sustainable agricultural growth, on both a small and large scale.

Attendees have the opportunity to hear Former Secretary of Agriculture and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack speak and hear from experts in the area of nutrition, agriculture, food justice, and policy.

For More Information and to Register:

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