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IMPACT volunteer Glen Umbaugh inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame

DES MOINES, Iowa — May 4, 2023 – IMPACT Community Action Partnership volunteer Glen Umbaugh was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame at a public ceremony in the state capitol rotunda on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Lt. Governor Adam Gregg presented the awards to Glen, and four other volunteers statewide.


Glen has provided over 1,480 hours of volunteer service (an estimated $44,310 dollar value) in less than three years to support families served by IMPACT. He gives three shifts, or eight hours, weekly of his time to assist with IMPACT’s food pantry operations. He personally delivered food packages to households during two years of the pandemic, ensuring families who need food assistance could safely receive an emergency food supply. In addition to donating time and talents, Glen gives financially to IMPACT to help even more where there is greatest need.


When asked what has made him so passionate about tackling food insecurity, Glen stated, “I’m not exactly sure why I focus on food insecurity, other than I’ve never understood how kids in our country could be underfed. That breaks my heart, so if there’s a chance to contribute in even a small way, it really feels great.”


“Glen is a tremendous asset to IMPACT,” said Anne Bacon, IMPACT CEO. “We are incredibly proud of Glen for this well-earned recognition of his commitment and compassion. We simply could not reach our goal to serve more than 21,000 families this year without Glen and our dedicated volunteer corps.”


Glen is one of 140 volunteers who partner with IMPACT, logging 40,000 hours annually to serve 55,000 individuals including children, seniors, veterans and those with a disabling condition. He also gives time to many other organizations including Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA), Reiman Gardens, City of Alleman and Eat Greater Des Moines. (See specific details of Glen's volunteering work at each of these non-profits below.)


Names of all the inductees are engraved on the Volunteer Hall of Fame plaque on permanent display in the Iowa State Historical Museum. Since the award’s inception in 1989, over 175 Iowans have been honored. To learn more about the Hall of Fame award, go to www.volunteeriowa.org/hof/.

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More about Glen Umbaugh's volunteer service

When he retired as an agronomist from a Pioneer in 2015, Glen knew he wanted to get more involved in service related to food scarcity. What no one could have anticipated is how involved. Starting with donating produce from his garden, Glen now supports not one but several area organizations working on food security on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis. All of these organizations have come to see Glen as an indispensable asset to their work and impact. Glen is well respected throughout the communities of Story and Polk counties for being the “go-to-person” for getting things done, especially within the food insecurity non-profits and environment related organizations.


When Glen retired, he had a notion to start up his family’s vegetable garden again, “with the primary benefactors being the bees, the birds and the butterflies.” Glen made a plan to donate excess produce from the garden to local food pantries. Since 2015, the garden has produced around 300 pounds of sweet peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini for the pantries.


He didn’t stop there. “Once I had some additional time on my hands, it just seemed like a natural extension to volunteer time to the food pantries, and other service organizations,” said Glen. “I was really fortunate to have some early exposure to local food rescue efforts in the area, so I’ve always tried to apply that experience along with my background to advocate for the pantries and their needs.”


Serving with IMPACT Community Action Partnership, Glen has provided over 1,480 hours of volunteer service in less than three years, providing critical assistance to families in the community who need an emergency food supply. On a weekly basis, he gives an estimated three shifts or eight hours of his time; an estimated total dollar value of $44,310 for this time. He stocks and organizes food at two IMPACT food pantry sites (Ankeny and Des Moines’ Drake Neighborhood) and for the Mid-Iowa Community Action Story County Food Pantry in Ames. For two years, during the pandemic, he delivered food packages to homes in the Des Moines metro area for IMPACT, ensuring families who need food assistance could easily and safely receive their monthly order.


Glen has been volunteering with Eat Greater Des Moines since August 2022 where he has completed over 43 rescues and has helped recover over 1,400 pounds of food from the landfill since his start with the non-profit food rescue organization.


He also spends time at the Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) office in Ames and does any task that’s needed, from rescue to restocking. When they think he has done more than enough giving his time, Glen also makes monetary donations to the food pantry. Glen has volunteered a total of 648.5 hours, an estimated total dollar value of $19,455 for this time.


Since 2020, Glen has volunteered over 300 hours at Reiman Gardens in Ames. In 2022, he was one of the most prolific volunteers, donating 170 hours of time and energy to the organization, an estimated total dollar value of $5,100 for this time. He helps in all kinds of ways – a docent in the butterfly pavilion, washing pots in the winter and sorting fresh produce for donation in the summer. Naturally, Glen then delivers that produce to MICA’s Story County Food Pantry in Ames.


Glen recently started volunteering with the City of Alleman, which needed to find funding sources that used grants and community involvement. When Glen’s wife Debbie suggested a pop can drive, the Betterment Committee loved it as a way to generate revenue with citizen can donations. They really loved it when Glen offered to maintain the project for the committee. Every afternoon, Glen stops by the return box in heart of the town and gathers cans for the Betterment Committee and redeems them.


When asked what has made him so passionate about tackling food insecurity, Glen stated, “I’m not exactly sure why I focus on food insecurity, other than I’ve never understood how kids in our country could be underfed. That breaks my heart, so if there’s a chance to contribute in even a small way, it really feels great.”


Glen’s self-described “small” contributions have added up in a huge way, contributing to a shared vision and synergy among the organizations he serves. A recurring theme in his nomination was consistency and quality of service – Glen simply keeps showing up, week after week, and does what is needed. The needs in Central Iowa are great, and so is Glen’s determination to help however, and wherever he can.


Glen Umbaugh was honored on Thursday, April 27, at the Hall of Fame & Excellence in Mentoring Awards Ceremony hosted by Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa MENTOR programs. Names of all the inductees are engraved on the Volunteer Hall of Fame plaque on permanent display in the Iowa State Historical Museum. Since the award’s inception in 1989, over 175 Iowans have been honored. To learn more about the Hall of Fame award, go to www.volunteeriowa.org/hof/.



IMPACT Community Action Partnership’s mission is to reduce the barriers and burdens that families in poverty experience by increasing access to essential needs. IMPACT serves over 55,000 individuals annually in five Central Iowa counties: Boone, Jasper, Marion, Polk and Warren. IMPACT collaborates with more than 483 community partners to deliver the following essential services: housing assistance, energy assistance, food and hygiene products assistance, and local community-based assistance including disaster assistance. IMPACT is one of 16 community action agencies in Iowa.


For Release: May 4, 2023

For IMPACT News: www.impactcap.org/news

Media Outlets: If you are a news reporter and would like to be added to our media list, please contact Kim Coulter, community engagement coordinator, 515-518-4770, ext. 379, kcoulter@impactcap.org.

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