Sponsor Sonia with her Feed Iowa First Walk!
Feed Iowa First founder, army veteran and farmer Sonia Kendrick will walk one hundred miles over several days, from her home in Cedar Rapids to her graduation from the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University on May 5. Her goal is to raise awareness for the 340,000 Iowans who do not have enough to eat on a daily basis in Iowa. Sonia believes this is an alarming statistic for a place like Iowa. “There is simply no excuse for the fact that one-tenth of the state’s population is food insecure – not while we rest above the world’s most productive agricultural soils,” notes Kendrick.
After serving a tour in Afghanistan in 2003, Kendrick realized quickly the troubles encountered with poverty and hunger. She regularly witnessed Afghanis risking their lives to receive rations or digging through garbage for food scraps. Through her work, Sonia aims to educate more Americans that our own food system is delicately balanced on transportation. Food insecurity, such as what she witnessed during her military tour, is not impossible at a larger scale across the United States. Importing our food directly ties the price of our food to the price of fuel. As fuel prices continue to rise, the price of our food will continue to rise.
“Most people in the state would be surprised to learn that over 85% of Iowa’s food is imported. There is great pride Iowa’s agricultural production. I often hear the mantra Iowa is ‘feeding the world’ but in fact, we’re not even feeding our own people.” She hopes to put a dent in this statistic with her soon-to-be qualified 501c3 venture Feed Iowa First. Kendrick has garnered 45 acres of donated land across Cedar Rapids and plans to grow fresh produce to feed local food pantries.
In a trial run in 2011, using only one acre of donated land at the Alliance Church, she grew over one ton of vegetables which went to the Abundance of Love food pantry. In 2012, she hopes that with enough fundraised dollars that she can hire an aspiring beginner farmer, enabling her to increase the amount of vegetables produced. Sonia will also work to qualifying her farmers for beginner farmer loans. Such access to credit would help eager new landless farmers gain access to acreage, at a time when many young people need work and Iowa is in desperate need of creating a local food system.
Sonia will begin her journey on Tuesday, May 1st, traversing route 30 from Cedar Rapids to Keystone. On May 2nd she will continue to the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama. May 3rd she will march on to State Center and finish on May 4th in Ames. On Saturday, May 5, Sonia will receive her B.S. in Agronomy from Iowa State. To help plan a fundraiser in your town for the hunger walk or to donate to Feed Iowa First, contact information is below. Contact: Sonia Kendrick, (319) 329-5818, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.feediowa1st.org
Article posted on Sunday, April, 29th, 2012 at 9:05 am