Promoting a Healthy Environment
Senator Harkin is a long time champion of creating healthier Iowa communities where families can grow and thrive. As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, he has funded many wellness programs, including the Healthy Communities program and Healthier Workforce Centers, both of which have funded projects in Iowa. For example, he secured over $5 million for Harkin Wellness Grants in Iowa, which was used as the model for the $373 million Communities Putting Prevention to Work program in the Recovery Act. He has also funded physical education in schools and construction of numerous trails throughout Iowa.
In the near term, Senator Harkin will ensure that Iowa benefits from implementation of wellness provisions included in the health care reform legislation. Specifically, that Iowa communities take advantage of the community transformation grants, businesses take advantage of workplace wellness grants and small business tax credits and that workforce programs address rural issues. He will also continue to champion legislation that allows communities to facilitate physical activity and a healthy food environment. And he will continue to support efforts to safeguard the quality of our water and air.
Iowans Helping Iowans - A Tradition of Service
America is a land of amazing abundance, but there are so many unmet needs in our midst. Iowans, more than the citizens of almost any other state, are stepping up to meet that need. In 2010, Census data determined that 37.8 percent of Iowans volunteer - making our state volunteering level the 2nd highest in the nation. Each year, an average of 883,900 Iowans perform more than 93 million hours of service and donate over 2 billion dollars of their hard earned money to charitable causes. In an effort to reflect the compassion of his constituents, Senator Harkin:
- Volunteers each week and urges his employees to give back to their communities as well. This year, Senator Harkin and his Washington, D.C. office were awarded the Congressional Service Award from the Everybody Wins! organization, a mentoring program that matches elementary school students with adults for one-on-one reading over the lunch hour. The award is presented to the Congressional office that has the most participants.
- Supports the AmeriCorps program, a volunteer civil service organization that helps rebuild schools and other infrastructure across the country. Senator Harkin helped secure funding for an AmeriCorps center in Vinton, Iowa. AmeriCorps volunteers have worked to repair damage in the wake of 2008's disastrous floods, modernize schools and assist in our neediest communities. Senator Harkin will continue to fight to support this program, which strengthens America's infrastructure, greatly reduces costs to taxpayers and showcases the best of our nation's character.