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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Master Gardener program awarded 25 grants totaling $20,000 to projects across the state of Iowa aimed at increasing access to healthy foods for families experiencing poverty.
Entering the growing season, Iowa Master Gardeners and the staff at the seven Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms set a lofty goal of producing 1,500 pounds of vegetables per farm to be donated to Iowa food pantries. They're well on their way to reaching that goal.
Throughout 2016, nearly 2,000 dedicated volunteers with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program and combined to spend nearly 120,000 hours volunteering during the last year.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program distributed $21,000 in food security mini-grant funds in 2016 courtesy of Iowa State University’s SNAP-Education.
2017 Growing Together mini-grants have been awarded to projects in 14 counties. They will receive a combined $70,000 in grant money through the SNAP-Education program.
Individuals interested in becoming Master Gardeners may now register for the training session being offered this fall. Registration must be made by Sept. 1.
The Iowa Master Gardener program will host three Growing Season webcasts this summer. Master Gardeners will gain educational hours while learning about urban tree selection, gardening with youth and landscaping for wildlife.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a series of six field days this summer at demonstration gardens across the state. The field days are free and open to the public.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program hosted two classes on the Iowa State campus in Ames this fall as part of its annual Master Gardener training course.
Master Gardener volunteers donated produce grown in 15 counties as well as demonstration gardens from six Iowa State research farms as part of the Growing Together initiative. The total donation came to 74,841 pounds of fruits and vegetables that went to more than 75 locations across the state.