The World Food Prize Foundation

Highlights from the 2014 Iowa Hunger Summit

Feeding Everyone in Polk County: Bridging the 9.5 Million Meal Gap

Speaker Ms. Linda Gobberdeiel - Owner and President, Food and You, LLC
Mr. Rick Kozin - Director of Public Health, Polk County
The Honorable Wayne Ford - Executive Director, Urban Dreams
Supervisor John Mauro - Polk County Board of Supervisors
Schedule Breakout Sessions - Round Two (10/14/2014 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Feeding Everyone in Polk County: Bridging the 9.5 Million Meal Gap

Wayne Ford, Rick Kozin, Linda Gobberdiel, and Supervisor John Mauro will share how a newspaper editorial has grown into an ambitious grassroots coalition that is gearing up to bridge the meal gap and end hunger in Polk County.

About Ms. Linda Gobberdeiel:

Linda Gobberdiel, MA RD LD is consultant for the AARP Foundation-funded Iowa State Hunger Grant project.  She is owner and President of Food and You, LLC managing local and regional food system projects and providing individual counseling regarding food and health. Linda is also Food Systems Coordinator for Eat Greater Des Moines currently housed within the Des Moines Area Religious Council.  In this position she collaborates with organizations, networks, and community leaders to build and develop the food system in central Iowa.   Previous work in the Des Moines area includes Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Iowa, Associate Director of the Wellness Council of Iowa, and Director of Montessori Children’s House.  Linda holds a B.A. Degree in Medical Dietetics, and an M.A. in Management.  She is an avid gardener, marathon runner, and triathlete.  Originally from St. Louis, her and her husband moved to Des Moines over 26 years ago.  

About Mr. Rick Kozin:

Mr. Rick Kozin is the Director of Public Health at Polk County in Des Moines, Iowa. He has undergraduate (B.A.- Adelphi University) and graduate degrees (M.A.-Georgetown University) in Political Science. He was a community organizer for 20 years in rural Southern Illinois, New York City, Hartford, Connecticut, central Nebraska and Des Moines before joining the Health Department as a Public Health Planner in 2001. In 2007 he was named Program Manager for Health Planning and Education. He was appointed Director in August 2012.

About The Honorable Wayne Ford:

Wayne Ward Ford was born in Washington D.C.'s inner city in 1951. Although he was a success on the football field and named all-conference defensive tackle for Ballou High School, he was also voted "most likely not to succeed" by his classmates because of his involvement in various juvenile crimes.

In spite of that, Ford received a scholarship to play football for Rochester Junior College in Minnesota upon his graduation in 1969. It's a move Ford credits with saving his life. He continued his football career and his education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, graduating in 1974 on the Dean's List with a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

Ford hosted his first U.S. Presidential Forum in 1976. The sponsoring organization was named Concerned Citizens for Minority Affairs; and many presidential candidates sent their surrogates. It was in 1984 that Ford, along with Latino community leader Mary Campos, would found the Brown & Black Presidential Forum. The Forum is now the nation's oldest ongoing minority presidential forum. It has been broadcast and telecast nationally numerous times, by Sirius Satellite Radio, C-SPAN, HDNET and MSNBC. The December, 2007, Forum proved to be prophetic by featuring soon to be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joseph Biden and President Barack Obama.

In 1985, Ford founded the nonprofit social service organization Urban Dreams to serve the needs of Des Moines' inner-city residents. Ford has since served as the Executive Director.

Ford may be most well-known for his work under Iowa's Golden Dome. From 1996 to his retirement in 2011, Ford served as an Iowa State Representative. He was only the tenth African-American in the state's history to hold such a position. His district included some of the most affluent and poorest areas in Iowa. Ford's service still stands as the longest-serving African-American in the state's history.

About Supervisor John Mauro:

John F. Mauro is serving his fourth term as a member of the Board of Supervisors from Polk County’s Fifth District. Mauro previously served the citizens of Polk County for two consecutive terms after being elected in 1990. He has served as Chair of the Board of Supervisors in 1993, 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2011.

John is a native of Des Moines and was born and raised on Des Moines’ South side. He has been a self employed businessman and has owned his own insurance agency for many years. John and his wife Grace have been married for 46 years. They have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren.

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