2021 Lend A Ham Event Supports Food Insecure in Central Iowa

2021 Lend A Ham Event Supports Food Insecure in Central Iowa

Dozens of Des Moines-area leaders served breakfast at Central Iowa Shelter & Services, part of the fifth-annual “Lend A Ham” event.
Kevin Rasmussen, a pig farmer from Goldfield, serves pork biscuit sandwiches to clients at Central Iowa Shelter & Services in Des Moines.

A giant grocery list and dozens of Des Moines-area leaders were part of the fifth annual “Lend A Ham” event that took place at Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) in Des Moines on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Representatives from Fareway Stores, Iowa Pork Producers Association, elected officials and other leaders served a hearty breakfast to vulnerable members of the community. Beginning at 6 a.m., volunteers prepared and distributed 350 meals, which included pork biscuit sandwiches, fresh fruit, milk, orange juice, hot chocolate and coffee.

“This is the fifth year Fareway and Iowa Pork Producers Association have generously supported the CISS community in this way,” said Melissa O’Neil, Central Iowa Shelter & Services CEO. “Although the past couple of years have been challenging, these organizations have always found a way to deliver their special ‘bacon aromatherapy’ to those we serve.”

Besides feeding the most vulnerable in the community, the Lend A Ham event provides an opportunity for elected officials and community leaders to engage with CISS clients, share ideas and better understand how CISS makes a difference in their lives.

Preparing bacon for breakfast sandwiches are Des Moines City Councilwoman Connie Boesen, left, and Ben Nuelle, public policy director at the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

“We all continue to be challenged by changes caused by COVID-19, but all Iowans should know that farmers are still producing plentiful and safe food,” said Kevin Rasmussen, a pig farmer from Goldfield, Iowa. “In the past 18 months, Iowa pig farmers have donated more than 850,000 pork meals to Iowans in need, and we aren’t slowing down.”

“We look forward to this annual Giving Tuesday event all year,” said Jeff Cook, Fareway vice president of market operations. “This event feeds people, but it also gives us the chance to team up with advocates in the pork industry and help our communities. We’re proud to partner with Iowa’s pork producers, who provide protein-rich meals to our communities all year long.”


Fareway Grocery List
A resident from a Des Moines homeless camp accepts a pork biscuit sandwich.

Breakfast Sausage Sandwiches (350+ servings)

720 egg patties (donated by Michael Foods)

1,100+ slices of bacon

610 sausage patties

504 English muffins

Beverages and Sides for Meal

900 bottles of water

900 cartons 2% milk

450 cartons orange juice

800 apples/oranges


About Central Iowa Shelter & Services: Since 1992, Central Iowa Shelter & Services has provided no-cost, low-barrier shelter, meals and support services to adults experiencing homelessness in order to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency. CISS provides 150 beds in its emergency shelter, 38 section 9 apartments and 19 apartments specifically for Veterans. Visit centraliowashelter.org for more information.

About Fareway: Fareway Stores, Inc. is a growing Midwest grocery company currently operating 129 stores in a six-state region. Fareway’s mission is to provide the highest quality products, while treating customers like family, and valuing dedicated employees. Its stores are known for their unmatched, full-service meat departments, farm-fresh produce, and exceptional to-your-car customer service. Fareway is a family-owned business, recognized as a top 10 employer in Iowa, and has more than 12,000 total employees. Visit Fareway.com for more information or shop online by visiting Shop.Fareway.com.

Lead with Love is part of Fareway’s mission aimed at supporting local communities through charitable giving efforts and other initiatives by direct involvement and donated resources. Lead with Love is a valued philosophy held by Fareway and inspired by its outstanding employees. Visit Fareway.com/LeadwithLove for more information.

About the Iowa Pork Producers Association: The mission of the Iowa Pork Producers Association is promoting, educating and providing a leading voice for a sustainable, socially responsible, and globally competitive pork industry. Visit IowaPork.org for more information.