Contact Information

Ilsa DeWald
Local Foods Coordinator

Phone Numbers


Johnson County Administration Building
Board of Supervisors Office
913 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Improving Access to Healthy and Local Foods Study

Field to Family (F2F), a nonprofit food hub in Iowa City, has contracted with Mendoza Consulting to conduct a research study that will inform the organization as to how its resources and services can adapt to better meet the needs of the community.

Mendoza Consulting is seeking Iowa City South District residents and food vendors and food businesses across Johnson County to participate in a series of focus groups to share their opinions and experiences on improving access to healthy and local foods. The focus group(s) will be conducted in May at Dream City, 611 Southgate Ave, Iowa City, IA, and will last approximately 90 minutes.

Participants will be asked to engage in a group discussion led by a moderator with Mendoza Consulting to explore their perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors related to the topic at hand. All opinions and feedback will be confidential and will only be used for research purposes.

To be eligible to participate, you must fill out this Google form to see if you qualify. Participants will receive a meal and a small compensation ($50) for their time and participation. 

If you have any questions, please contact Marlen Mendoza at [email protected]


Join the Johnson County Food Policy Council

Do you feel passionate about building a more equitable, resilient, and community-based food system in Johnson County? Join the Food Policy Council!

The council is open to anyone who grows, cooks, processes, sells, or eats food! Members are involved in researching and presenting recommendations to the County and other entities, building relationships, gathering input, and planning events. The council meets monthly, and members also meet in working groups. 

The council is looking for members who feel energized to advance their 2023 priorities:

  • Community Food and Farm Grant: Develop grant goals and processes, measure and share impact of the grant
  • Rural Network Connections: Build relationships with stakeholders and address needs related to local food and agriculture in rural communities
  • Value-added Business Development: Support development of small food businesses who process local food or provide cultural food options

If you are interested in joining the council, fill out the online application form. Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.


Next Food Policy Council Meeting

The Johnson County Food Policy Council usually meets on the third Mondays of the month from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The next meeting is Monday, June 26, 2023.  You can attend meetings in person at the Johnson County Administration Building, 1st Floor Betty Sass Conference Room (913 S Dubuque St., Iowa City) or on Zoom. Meetings agendas are posted a week in advance at and include Zoom information.


Johnson County's Local Food System 

Johnson County is a unique region in Iowa where the rural landscape meets our urban centers in many dynamic ways. We are a brilliant mix of talent, experience, and culture. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors and staff are committed to building a thriving local food system -- where the environment flourishes, businesses succeed, and everyone has access to diverse and culturally relevant food.

What is the food system?

The food system is defined as the chain of activities connecting food production, processing, distribution, marketing, transportation, access, consumption and waste management.

Local foods in Johnson County

In the fall of 2015, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors created a new position - the Local Foods and Planning Specialist - as part of the Planning, Development and Sustainability department. In 2018, the Local Foods Coordinator position was moved to the Board of Supervisors Office. The Local Foods Coordinator works closely with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, county planners and community partners to increase local food production and access in Johnson County.

By creating this position, Johnson County is acknowledging the importance local foods have in our county, and that by developing a community-based food system, we are supporting all sectors of our environment - from public health to conservation..

Why local foods and the County?

The food system has significant, daily impacts on the residents of Johnson County in terms of the environment, the local economy, employment, the transportation system, public health and waste. Everyone eats, therefore everyone is engaged in the food system.

In Johnson County, we see the need to build the community resources of our food system - and we are working to create a robust system that promotes worker's rights and builds resilience in the natural environment. The advancement of our local food system will enhance rural and urban economic development, increase access to nutritious food and build equity in our community.