Community Corn Harvest addressing food insecurity issues in Linn County

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Some groups in Linn County are addressing food insecurity from the derecho and the pandemic with a Community Corn Harvest. From July 22nd-August 1st people can pick out sweet corn to take home at Dows Farm in Cedar Rapids.

This is to help combat food insecurity. That’s an issue that’s grown in Iowa within the past year. “Over 400,000 more individuals facing food insecurity now due to the pandemic and the derecho,” said Carter Osgood with Feed Iowa First.

It’s why Osgood and his volunteers at Feed Iowa First have been working to make sure people have fresh produce. They say food insecurity was trending down before 2020 hit.

“We’re kind of boots on the ground when we go out and distribute,” he said. “We see a lot of people showing up, a lot of people being thankful for us being there.”

They’re one of the collaborators in the Community Corn Harvest. It’s 5 acres of corn at Dows farm people can harvest themselves. It’s planted by an anonymous farmer

Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help with a wide range of tasks during the event.

“We’ll need people to guide our visitors into the field. If this is their first time picking sweet corn,” said Les Beck with Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. “We’ll have somebody to show them how to pick sweet corn.”

“We want people to become involved in this, educationally, communally,” said Osgood. “Just to become more aware what food insecurity is.”

That’s because hunger in Iowa doesn’t usually mean people are starving, but rather they can’t afford food that’s fresh and nourishing.

“It’s just paramount to a healthy community,” said Osgood. “A healthy society, and it always will be.”

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