The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program volunteers help extend consumer horticulture science with practice through there local county extension offices. Here are two summaries of how Master Gardeners impacted Iowa communities in 2016, and an announcement of Growing Together grants for 2017.
Over 90 Iowa Master Gardeners were involved in food security mini-grant projects in 2016, putting in more than 500 total volunteer hours. Together they were able to grow more than 58,000 pounds of produce that was donated to 50 food pantries and food banks. See the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach news release from January 27, 2017 to see examples of grant-money supported programs.
Nearly 2,000 dedicated Master Gardeners combined to spend nearly 120,000 hours volunteering during 2016. That equals an impressive 62 hours worked per volunteer, significantly more than the 20 hours Master Gardener volunteers are required to complete each year. All told, that comes to a value of over $2.6 million in total time spent growing Iowa. See the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach news release from January 27, 2017 for examples of volunteer-supported programs.
Fourteen Master Gardener programs were chosen to receive a combined $70,000 in grant money from the SNAP-Education program in 2017 to increase the amount of fresh produce donated to food pantries. See the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach news release from February 9, 2017 to learn more about the program and to see the county projects that were awarded grants.