Center for Sustainable Communities
December 9, 2013
Cafeteria to Community Program
In early November Luther launched the Cafeteria to Community program, which works to get food from dining services into the homes of individuals and families in Northeast Iowa. Twice a week volunteers gather in the cafeteria kitchen to package unserved food into containers that will be flash frozen and donated to the Food Pantry at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. The Food Pantry provides services to over 500 individuals and families each month. Donations vary by week but include such items as soup, main entrees, homemade pasta sauce, vegetables and salads from Luther's cafeteria. 

To date, there have been nine packing nights during which a total of 31 volunteers have packaged 609 containers of food weighing 943.5 pounds!

The packaging of food occurs at 7pm on Monday and Wednesday evenings and tends to last less than two hours. This program is reliant upon volunteers and provides a great service opportunity not only for student groups but also for faculty, staff and community members. Gather a group of friends, sign up and come ready to tie on an apron, roll up your sleeves and get to work!  A list of available dates and link to the sign-up form can be found at
NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative receives $95,600 grant from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $95,600 grant to the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.

Luther is a core partner of the Food and Fitness Initiative in the Northeast Iowa region and works through a team of Americorps and Food Corps members to make the healthy choice the easy choice in K-12 schools.

The grant will help the program to collaborate with farmers in six Northeast Iowa counties to build a new food hub that will be used to aggregate farm produce in order to meet the needs of area school district. It will also be used to help four school districts in Northeast Iowa to double their local food purchases.
West Side Certified Nature Explore Classroom
On Nov. 5, the West Side Early Childhood Center, located in Decorah, earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation. West Side Early Childhood Center joins a growing network of organizations and institutions that have created effective nature-based outdoor learning environments for children. This network allows for idea-sharing, peer support and continuous development. 

The success of the West Side Early Childhood's Natural Playground is due to the contribution of numerous organizations and volunteers. 
Luther Approves Green Cleaning Policy
On November 4, 2013 Luther administration approved the Green Cleaning Policy that was developed by the Food, Purchasing and Waste Committee. The policy requires that Luther and its contractors will purchase products certified or recommended by Green Seal, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) or another independent environmental certification organization when procuring cleaning products. Learn more about Luther policies.
This newsletter is provided by the Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates all sustainability initiatives at Luther College.  The mission of the Center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.  For more information on sustainability initiatives at Luther and the outreach work of the Center for Sustainable Communities, please visit:
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, Dec. 10: Energy and Water Task Group Meeting
2-3 pm Valders 374
About this group. 
Thursday, Dec. 12: Food Purchasing and Waste Task Group Meeting
4:05-5:05 pm Valders 374
About this group. 
Friday, Dec. 13: Cooking Class: Pressure Cooker
Noon-1 pm Valders 379
Join Johanna Bergan from the Co-op for a class about using a pressure cooker! Participants will learn how to effectively make one-pot meals and other side dishes. Generous samples will be provided! Interested faculty, staff, and students can sign up here.
Student Spotlight
Karen Davison '14

Karen Davison is a major in English and International Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies from Cedar Falls, IA. This past summer Karen worked full-time for the Sustainability Office, conducting field research and working to eradicate garlic mustard and buckthorn as a Land Stewardship Intern, and writing newsletters and coordinating food education classes for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Reimbursement Program for Luther faculty and staff. This spring Karen will be studying abroad in India.
General Farm Manager - Wellspring Organic Farm and Education Center
Wellspring Organic Farm is seeking applicants for a General Farm Manager. The manager will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the farm are completed. This includes planting, weeding, and harvesting as well as CSA and educational aspects of the organization. Read more.  
General Farm Manager - Riverview Gardens 
Riverview Gardens is looking for a General Farm Manager who will be responsible for farm production as well as coordinating and engaging workers and volunteers on the farm. Read more.  
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Luther College
A tenure-eligible position in Environmental Studies with a focus on sustainability or a related area beginning late August 2014.  We invite applications from all disciplines but specifically encourage applications from graduates of economics, political science, business, or interdisciplinary programs with a social science emphasis. Read more.  
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