Three part series shows how Master Gardeners support food security

Staff Writer
Nevada Journal

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will host a winter webinar series in 2016. Master Gardeners will gain educational hours while learning the realities of hunger in Iowa, the best way to work with food banks, food safety and more.

Two-hour webinars are scheduled at the ISU Extension and Outreach Story County office for Jan. 5, Jan. 19 and Feb. 2. These winter webinar topics include:

• Jan. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Hunger in Iowa - Learn the realities of hunger and teaching methods to use when working with food-insecure adults. Presented by Christine Hradek, food and nutrition educator for ISU Extension and Outreach, as well as Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program assistant for ISU Extension and Outreach.

• Jan. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Working with Food Banks - Find out how Master Gardeners can work with food banks to donate garden produce. Presented by Sara Bonefas, interim director of the Food Bank of Iowa, as well as Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program assistant for ISU Extension and Outreach.

• Feb. 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Best Practices for Food Safety - Get information on the best practices for handling garden produce going to food banks and the importance of food-safety procedures. Presented by Shannon Coleman, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and ISU Extension and Outreach specialist, as well as Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program assistant for ISU Extension and Outreach.

This webinar series is part of collaborative project between the Master Gardener program in Iowa and the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education. This collaboration aims to improve the food environment for Iowans with low income, develop a strategic plan for planting food bank donations in gardens across Iowa and increase the amount of food donated to food banks by Iowa Master Gardeners. Any Master Gardener wishing to apply for a mini grant to support a food security project is required to register and take part in the webinar series. Mini grant applications for up to $500 are due on March 1, 2016.

To register, contact Alison Boelman, at aboelman@iastate.edu or 515-382-6551.The webinars are free of charge and open to anyone who may be interested.