The World Food Prize Foundation

April 2017

Lutheran Services of Iowa Global Greens

LSI’s Global Greens agricultural programs coordinate land access, production education and business development training for refugees in the Des Moines metro who want to reconnect with the land. Global Greens farmers are former refugees who are creating paths to self-sufficiency through sustainable agriculture. Global Greens Farm is a training site for 26 growers wanting to start small market farming businesses. Training and technical assistance on production, record keeping, marketing and small business development is provided over a multi-year period – with the goal of farmers transitioning to their own land and independent businesses.

Some refugee families want to grow food for home consumption. Thanks to partnerships with the City of Des Moines, organizations and private landowners, LSI is able to help connect refugee families to small garden plots near their homes. Other refugees are interested in small business farming to supplement their income long-term. In 2013, LSI created the Global Greens Farm, a 5 acre urban farm made possible through a land partnership with the Valley Community Center, in West Des Moines.

Many refugee families have backgrounds in agriculture, and growing food provides many benefits:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Reduced grocery costs and better access to healthy produce​​​​​​​
  • More income and busin​​​​​​​ess opportunities for families
  • More social c​​​​​​​onnections with neighbors and less isolation​​​​​​​
  • ​​​​​​​Emotional healing for refugees who have faced past trauma
  • More conne​​​​​​​ctions to cultural traditions
  • Opportunities to share agricultural traditions with the next generation

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​At Global Greens Farm, be​​​​​​​ginning market farmers take the first step by ​​​​​​​cultivating a large 50’ x 50’ plot of land. Advanced market farmers then move to a ¼ acre sized plot and receive intensive training on crop production, business development and ​​​​​​​marketing to help them turn their passion into a pr​​​​​​​ofitable business. ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​At Global Gre​​​​​​​ens Farm, farmers grow many vegetables you’ll find in your local grocery store, such as carrots and onions. They also grow ethnic vegetables from their home countries, like leng​​​​​​​a lenga (amaranth greens), long beans, daik​​​​​​​on radish and African eggplant. You can meet our advanced farmers at local farmer’s markets and try out some recipes that feature their unique produce.T​​​​​​​hey would love to introduce you to new foods!

​​​​​​​Some opportunities to further engage with the Global Greens Farm include joining the Global Greens CSA and participating in the Farmers' Market.​​​​​​​

By joining the Global Greens CSA or shopping at the Global Greens Farmers Market, you’re eating h​​​​​​​ealthy, chemical free produce, and supporting Global Greens farmers at the same time!  For just around $30.00 a week, you’ll receive a weekly box of Iowa favorites and a couple of surprises from the farmers’ home countries.​​​​​

Location pick ups at LSI on University or V​​​​​​​alley Community center in West Des Moines.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Sign up at or call 515-271-7464  

Every Saturday from 9-1 pm starting May 20th located at LSI’s Des Moines cam​​​​​​​pus at 3200 University Avenue (in the parking lot of LSI) in the Drake neighborhood. It’s a low traffic area where you can  easily find a parking spot, and a perfect place to get to know the farmers who grow your food. We also have activities for kids, cultural entertainment, and food demonstrations—​​​​​​​come try a new food with us! We we​​​​​​​lcome EBT and WIC/Senior Farmers’ Market checks, as well as Double Up Food Bucks!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​The Double Up Food Bucks program doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits (SNAP or food st​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​m​​​​​​​ps) spent at market, giving customers a dollar for dollar match up to $10 to spend on fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. T​​​​​​​his allows low-income fami​​​​​​​lies to bring home more healthy food, local farmers to gain new customers and make more money, and more foo​​​​​​​d dollars to stay in the local economy.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


To get further connected to the Global Greens program at LSI please contact:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Rachel Luppens
Marketing and Development Coordinator
Refugee Community Services

2017 Iowa Youth Institute​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The 2017 Iowa Youth Institute was a huge success! ​​​​​​​The World Food Prize Iow​​​​​​​a Youth ​​​​​​​Institute (IYI) has been a transformative experience for students each April at Iowa State University. ​​​​​​​In it's 6th year, we had 299 kids from 131 high schools across the state of ​​​​​​​Iowa participating in interactive activities on Iowa State University’s campus to explore research and work currently taking place in Iowa to address global challenges. Throughout the day students heard from key-note speakers, actively participated in roundtable discussions, and had the opportunity to engage with various ISU faculty and industry experts. For a better look at the days events, check out our Iowa Youth Institute Facebookpage!

For more information about the Iowa Youth Institute check out our website or contact the World Food Prize Director of Iowa Education Programs, Kelsey Tyrrell at or 515.245.3702.

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