CEDAR RAPIDS – Eastern Iowa is fortunate to have a good number of farmers markets, a growing contingent of Community Supported Agriculture programs and one of the newest local foods options, the Iowa Valley Food Co-op.
The Co-op began in August 2011 as a hybrid of sorts, bridging the gap between other local foods models by offering online shopping to connect local farmers to customers. Members order from the producers’ listing of
fresh produce, meats, honey, breads, dairy products and other items and pick up the orders on distribution day. The innovative model provides farmers with another outlet and consumers with another option for fresh, local food.
Work that takes place behind the scenes through volunteers and leaders Jason Grimm and Jesse Singerman is extensive, from setting up tables, checking in the items delivered from the producers, to sorting and labeling, all before members arrive to pick up their orders. The day begins around noon and ends at 7 p.m. See and hear some of what is involved in those behind the scenes efforts that happen at the Matthew 25 Ministry Hub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.