by Sandra Evans

The stars aligned when Andie Donnan and Ashley Neises met at the Dubuque Food Co-op in the Millwork District. Andie worked as the deli manager when Ashley would pick up food scraps for the Rescue Mission. Both are passionate about food and the environment, so they had much in common.

Ashley earned a degree in environmental justice at Prescott College in Arizona and worked as a student worker with the Ag Ecology program. But her first “aha” moment occurred earlier, at age 18, when her sister, a public educator, invited Ashley to spend a summer with her in Wyoming. Her sister worked with at-risk youth in a program called Sustainable Lives; the students gardened, reflected, and sold their produce at market.

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