VISTA Host Sites

Nourish Iowa VISTA has a number of host sites across the state. Our members help increase the capacity of our host site partnerships to further the mission of increasing food access for all Iowans. 

Read below to learn more about what members at our host sites do!

University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy & Environmental Education

Cedar Falls, IA

VISTA Member service will contribute to the development of an incubator farm in Northeast Iowa which will provide a key pathway into the farming profession for underserved populations. You will familiarize yourself with the incubator farm model by researching success stories and holding discussions with leaders in the field, becoming an expert in the local and statewide landscape of laws, incentives, and other factors contributing to the ease or difficulty of establishing an incubator farm. You will also promote the formation of partnerships which will lead to an incubator farm’s creation, working with such entities as extension agencies, local farmers and land-owners, community-based organizations representing populations identified as having a strong interest in farming, civic leaders, and educational institutions.

Field to Family

Iowa City, IA

Field to Family in Iowa City is a mission-driven nonprofit that provides food system education; supports a shared vision of a community food system that enhances economic, environmental and community health; and expands access to locally produced food for all in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids region. Field to Family works to increase access to local food in Iowa so more people in institutions such as schools, retirement communities, colleges, universities, and hospitals can enjoy meals grown by farmers a few miles away everyday. We envision a strong and community-based Eastern Iowa local food system with infrastructure to support a thriving wholesale market for foods from the region that are high quality, fairly priced, and sustainably produced. VISTA service will contribute to greater equity in Iowa City’s local food system for farmers and residents considered Socially Disadvantaged by the USDA.

Feed Iowa First

Cedar Rapids, IA

Feed Iowa First (FIF) is a grass-roots community of business, faith organizations, schools, farmers, and volunteers that unite in relationship-based service to help our neighbors to ‘Combat Food Insecurity by Growing Food and Farmers’. We believe access to fresh, healthy produce can and does transform lives. Fresh, healthy food is a basic human right, and ensuring access to it is key to building vibrant communities where citizens can reach their full human potential. FIF is the main producer and provider of fresh produce to food pantries in Linn County. We distributed over 50,000lbs of nutrient-dense produce back into our community. 

We Arose

Waterloo, IA

We Arose Co-op is a local food cooperative dedicated to elevating urban farming cooperation by building community and increasing access to healthy food options through education and outreach. We work with local farmers, social enterprises, and community members to operate a series of educational outreach programs. The primary program, Greens to Go, is a local food outreach program focused on increasing access to affordable, locally grown fruits and vegetables in historically underserved Waterloo neighborhoods through outreach efforts consisting of mobile produce stands, home deliveries, and farmers' markets. VISTA members will assist in building capacity of the co-op by establishing and strengthening outreach channels and securing resources to sustain our urban farming, community engagement, and outreach operations with the Waterloo Urban Farmers Market.

Farm to School and Early Care Coalition 

Ames, IA

As a project of Iowa State University’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program, the mission of the Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Coalition is to increase access to locally-grown food and food education for children and families by building cross-sector partnerships to advance programs and policies in schools, early care settings, and the food system. As a partner in this work, VISTA service supports statewide network communication, partnership, and collaborative event planning. The coalition seeks increased capacity and system development around several communication platforms, including social media, monthly newsletters, and storytelling. In addition to these areas, VISTA plays a crucial role in planning the annual Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Conference (hosted in June) and developing farm to early care and education training (mainly virtual). 

Table to Table

Iowa City, IA

Table to Table bridges the gap between abundance and hunger. Volunteers collect surplus food from donors and redistribute it to partners and people who can use it.  Our work unites community members and organizations to create a more just and less wasteful food system. Since we began in April of 1996, Table to Table volunteers have rescued and distributed over 30 million pounds of food to area agencies. Nourish Iowa VISTA members serve among a cohort of members whose service is building a more equitable food system in Iowa.