UNI hosts major AmeriCorps programs

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2015

Kamyar Enshayan, director, Center for Energy & Environmental Education,, 319-273-7575

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations,, 319-273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa hosts two major AmeriCorps programs: Green Iowa AmeriCorps and Improving Food Security VISTA.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps has been operating since 2009, focusing on comprehensive residential energy services to low-income households. They serve seven regions in Iowa and have 35 service members.

Improving Food Security VISTA is an AmeriCorps program involving four members serving the Waterloo area. The program is in its first year, building capacity to improve access to good food in neighborhoods where access to fruits and vegetables is either limited or nonexistent. UNI hosts one VISTA member who is working with faculty members to build capacity for more community engagement initiatives.

Black Hawk County Extension and Outreach hosts two FoodCorps members who work with Waterloo schools to build capacity for more gardens and for fresh vegetable consumption in schools.

There are more than 1,400 AmeriCorps members serving the state of Iowa in areas of youth development, health, human services, energy and environmental programming, and disaster services. There are also an additional 75 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving 60 sites across Iowa addressing chronic poverty issues and working in areas of access to education, food security, housing, financial literacy and aging services.

Nearly $5 million annually is leveraged by AmeriCorps members at the end of their service for higher education funding. The AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service, meeting needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.

For more information about UNI's AmeriCorps programs, contact Kamyar Enshayan, director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Education, at or 319-273-7575.