Teaming Up to Fight Hunger this Harvest Season
Governor Terry E. Branstad proclaimed September as Hunger Action Month today at the Iowa State Fair. Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds were joined by statewide partners of the Iowa Food Bank Association. The Iowa Soybean Association launched their Invest an Acre - Grain Gifting Program, Midwest Dairy spoke on the Great American Milk Drive, and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation provided information on the Backpack Coupon Program.
In addition to these ongoing programs, Iowans have a special opportunity to help feed hungry people at the Farm Progress Show in Boone on August 26-28, and the 7th Annual Hunger Fight in Des Moines on August 27-30.
The Farm Progress Show, along with Monsanto and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF), is teaming up to feed Iowa’s hungry with the America’s Farmers Food Drive. Monsanto will match every pound of food donated (up to $10,000) with a one dollar donation to the United Way of Story County. The Howard G. Buffet Foundation will donate one dollar for every pound of food collected (up to $10,000) to Feeding America. The top three FFA chapters and 4-H clubs in pounds of food donated will receive a $250 donation from Monsanto. Students who bring five or more non-perishable food items to donate will receive free entry to the show. Food can be dropped off at gates 1, 5 and 9. For more information about fighting hunger at the Farm Progress Show, email Mr. Rod Swoboda at email@example.com.
The 7th Annual Iowa Hunger Fight prides itself on being the largest hunger-fighting event in the country. Their goal is to package 5 million meals with the assistance of 15,000 volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, visit the Meals from the Heartland website or email Mr. Joel Odell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making Action against Hunger a Community Celebration
One way to bring people from many different perspectives and faith traditions together to raise money and fight hunger is to make a community celebration out of it. This is the approach taken for 37 years by the Sioux City CROP Hunger Walk; the second longest running of over 80 CROP Hunger Walks across Iowa.
Last year, the Sioux City CROP Hunger Walk brought together 365 walkers and raised over $36,400 to combat hunger. Of the money raised, 25% goes to relieve local hunger through programs at the Community Action Agency of Siouxland and Interfaith Resources. The remainder is used to alleviate global hunger through the programs of Church World Service.
The Sioux City CROP Hunger Walk is organized by a small taskforce that meets during the months of August through October. A network of volunteer recruiters drums up support and involvement at 35 churches and schools in September and October. The walk itself takes place every year on a Sunday afternoon in October; complete with balloons and family-friendly activities for walkers of all ages. This year’s walk will be on October 19th.
Organizers attribute the longevity and success of the Sioux City CROP Hunger Walk to:
- Participants are able to raise money to “fight hunger around the block and around the globe”, through an easy, concrete action that people could take together with their friends.
- The community-wide feeling of the CROP Hunger Walk that they cultivate by involving a large number of organizations every year; including 30 churches of many denominations and several high school clubs.
- Efforts over the past 30 years to make the CROP Hunger Walk a family tradition by encouraging children to come in strollers or wagons, providing fun activities and balloons to walkers of all ages, and encouraging church confirmation classes and high school student clubs to invite their families to walk with them.
- Thanking participants and recruiters for their efforts. Recruiters are especially important for keeping churches, student clubs, and other groups engaged in the CROP Hunger Walk over the years, and the organizing committee works hard to recognize the dedication of their recruiters.
For more information about the Sioux City CROP Hunger Walk, please contact Ms. Rolene Beauvais at email@example.com or 712-574-9607. For more information about other CROP Hunger Walks in Iowa, please contact Mr. Jordan Bles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-274-2224.