November Board Meeting Highlights Partnerships
MICA hosted a special meeting of our board of directors in November. At this meeting, community partners, volunteers, and family successes were honored.
We honor community partners because their work and partnership with us has made a significant difference in the lives of the families we serve. This year, we honored Region 6 Housing Trust and Trinity Lutheran Church for their help during the 2018 Marshalltown tornado and the ongoing recovery efforts. Both organizations were instrumental in ensuring that families got the help they needed to begin rebuilding. We also honored the Poweshiek County Renovation Committee, whose members raised funds to renovate our Poweshiek County Family Development Center.
Our outstanding volunteers go above and beyond for families in need. This year we honored Amy Stahlin and Kathy McCune for their help immediately following the tornado, and Nikki Rieber for her assistance and advocacy in Hardin County.
Finally, we honored three families who had made exceptional progress in our programs. These families have made great strides toward stability, security, and success.
PCFD Renovation Project Nearing Completion
MICA's facilities team has been hard at work finishing the Poweshiek County Family Development Center renovation. The project brought the Grinnell Head Start classroom into the center while making several improvements to the interior and exterior of the building.
The Head Start classroom held its first classes in January 2019, complete with a new playground in the back of the building, new kitchen facilities, and a new bathroom.
Currently, the team is finishing new spaces for families and staff that include more space for the food pantry, a separate wing of the building for the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI), offices, and meeting rooms.
The project is designed to help families access as many services in one location as possible, removing barriers to access. This co-location results in better outcomes for families, enabling them to reach their goals and build economic stability.
Grinnell Families Enjoy a Thanksgiving Meal
November 21, 2019 marked the second Thanksgiving meal organized by Local Foods Connection and MICA. This year, the food for the event was funded through a donation from Healthy Grinnell as part of an Iowa Healthcare Collaborative initiative to address social determinants of health.
The goal of cooking a Thanksgiving meal together is to connect Grinnell families with young children to food preparation skills, local food, and community. The evening included cooking teamwork among parents, their children, and staff from Local Foods Connection and MICA, culminating in a feast for approximately 40 people to enjoy. Grace Community Church provided space and kitchen facilities for the event.
At the end of the night, each family that attended the meal took home a local Thanksgiving package including a turkey from Genuine Faux Farm, turnips and beauty heart radishes from Middle Way Farm, and Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and sweet potatoes from Grinnell Heritage Farm. The packages also included recipes, a roasting pan, and an assortment of kitchen tools so that families could reproduce the dishes they created during the event at home.