Over 200 Iowans Discuss “Women Doing Democracy”
The 2014 Women Food and Agriculture Network Conference on November 14 and 15 in Fairfield brought together over 200 people around the topic of “Women Doing Democracy: Building Grassroots Coalitions to Grow Healthy Food and Farming in Your Community”.
The keynote address was delivered by Karen Washington, a community activist, gardener and founder of Black Urban Growers delivered the keynote address. Black Urban Growers (BUGS) builds networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings, and nurtures collective black leadership on food and farm issues.
Ms. Washington lives and works in South Bronx, in one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States. Based on her experiences as an organizer working to improve access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods and among people of color, she recommended that Iowans consider to following:
- Explore the synergies between aging and youth populations. Elders often have knowledge of gardening, cooking, and the “home-economics” skills that much of society has forgotten. Young people often bring the most current computer and social media skills to a partnership.
- When doing outreach, find the community leaders who are already working in an area and partner with – and listen to – them.
- The best way to get people together is to share a meal. Invitations should be delivered in person or over the phone. Be mindful of challenges of transportation, childcare, work-schedules, and translation.
Iowa CROP Walks Raise over $400,000 to Combat World Hunger in 2014
Church World Service CROP Hunger Walks provide Iowans in nearly 80 cities and towns with the opportunity to walk to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger in their communities and around the world. In August and September, we wrote about how CROP Hunger Walks can become community-wide celebrations of Iowa’s agricultural heritage and service ethic.
Church World Service Field Director, Jordan Bles provides an update on this year’s walks:
From Dubuque to Sioux City, from Ames to Burlington, in nearly 80 communities overall, Iowans across the state walked to support the work of Church World Service in the United States and around the world, and to support local agencies working to end hunger in their communities. More than $400,000 was raised by more than 1500 walkers statewide. The communities of Dubuque, Wayland, Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, the Quad Cities, Muscatine, and Sioux City all raised more than $20,000! Thanks, Iowa, for another year of partnership working to end hunger and poverty locally and globally!