In Iowa, we grow food. Some of the most fertile farmland on earth feeds the world. Iowans like to brag about that. And rightfully so.

Yet, one in eight Iowans is food insecure, meaning they are not sure where their next meal is coming from. That number jumps to one in five in some counties.

For those people, biting into a big juicy tomato, or making sure their children get their greens, just got easier. An initiative through Iowa State University (ISU) Extension & Outreach teams its SNAP-Education and Master Gardener programs to make fresh fruits and vegetables more available by encouraging Master Gardeners around the state. The collaboration  channels food growing efforts toward those in  need.

Master gardeners are highly trained, skilled and civic minded, making them a natural fit for this effort,” says Christine Hradek, ISU Extension & Outreach state specialist and SNAP-Education coordinator. “Add to that an excellent network of food banks and food pantries, and the best soil in the world, and it all just makes sense.”

Hradek coordinates multiple federal programs, ...