Food insecurity – the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food – is an issue that many Iowa communities are working to address. While the factors that lead to food insecurity are varied and complex, efforts in Fairfield to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food are fairly simple.
Carry On Bags is a Fairfield non-profit organization that provides bags with snacks and simple meals to students over weekends and during school breaks. COB relies on donations to purchase bulk food items and volunteers to pack the bags. Anyone can sign up confidentially to receive bags without providing proof of income.
Carry On Bags
In 2013 the Fairfield Community School District began participating in the Summer Food Service Program, part of the Department of Education’s nutrition initiative and funded by the USDA. It provides free lunches for children over summer break, with no income bracket requirements.
Fairfield Farmers Market vendors accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards, providing access to the most affordable, most nutritious food available. Our local food pantry, The Lord’s Cupboard, works with area growers to offer fresh produce and meat as often as possible. The Southeast Iowa Food Hub is connecting area growers with grocers and restaurants to expand the local food market. A community orchard planted in 2012 provides free fruit and nuts.
The Lord’s Cupboard
There is no simple solution to the issue of food insecurity, but committed and caring people everywhere are doing what they can.
****Special thanks to Michael Halley of Fairfield for providing article content and photographs.