Sonia Kendrick feels passionately about feeding those in need. “Access to good nutrition is vital to health, longevity, and quality of life,” states this United States military veteran and founder of the Feed Iowa First initiative. Thanks to a grant from The Mission Continues, an organization dedicated to helping vets continue service to their communities, Sonia will team up with local nonprofit Horizons, A Family Service Alliance, in an effort to expand upon the agency’s existing gardening endeavors.
“Feed Iowa First’s mission is to grow fresh vegetables for Iowa’s food banks, and to assist landless beginning farmers to qualify for beginning farmer loans. Our mission stemmed out of the fact that over 340,000 people go to bed hungry each night in Iowa (USDA and Feeding America 2010). The end goal for Feed Iowa First in Linn County is the creation of 500 acres of Urban farms dedicated to feeding those in need, and the creation of at least 500 new farmers dedicated to feeding our county,” Kendrick states. “I am excited to be awarded a Mission Continues grant that would allow me to work with Horizons to help increase their clientele’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
“Horizons is happy to welcome Sonia and the team from Feed Iowa First for a six-month project to start in late October. Our partnership will be the first of its kind in Iowa,” states Horizons President & CEO, Bill Gardam. “They will work toward a plan to increase accessibility to fresh produce for seniors and disabled community members via growth of our existing Meals On Wheels garden. The Mission Continues organization provides dreams-coming-true opportunities to our nation’s service people, and it’s an honor for Horizons to host Sonia through that program. We’re excited to partner with Feed Iowa First to help us research sustainable food systems, and look forward to what new innovations may await.” Horizons expects the formal partnership to begin October 22.