Come rain, power outages, or a pandemic—emergency departments across the state have adapted to the punches of 2020 and know they can come to the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) to arrange for donated pork for their fundraising efforts.
Bacon A Difference, launched in 2018 by IPPA, provides pork products for meals and other activities that help raise money for fire, medical, and police equipment in rural communities.
Despite the cancellation of many in-person events, Bacon A Difference received 16 requests in fiscal year 2020. That’s half of the 32 requests for program funding the prior year.
The Oxford Junction Volunteer Fire Department in Jones County was forced to cancel a fundraising breakfast earlier in the year because of COVID-19. However, Bacon A Difference money helped purchase pork sausage for its October breakfast. Attendees were safely physically distanced, with curbside pickup available.
According to assistant chief Derek Feuss, money allocated from the city’s budget covers the department’s fixed costs, like utilities and insurance. But the volunteer department relies on fundraisers like the breakfasts to buy equipment and other things.
More than 500 people were served in Oxford Junction, and dollars raised will go toward updating rescue tools and several other small projects, Feuss said.
Bacon A Difference also last month sponsored the Colesburg Firefighters Association’s annual fundraising supper at the Colesburg Fire Station in northeast Iowa’s Delaware County. A meal featuring a Windsor pork chop—a thick, smoked, center-cut loin from Edgewood Locker in Edgewood—was one of two options offered via pickup or drive-thru that served 400-450 people.
They plan to buy a gas detector and to replace firefighters’ personal protective gear (bunker gear) with proceeds from the supper.
Typically, IPPA’s logo is displayed on a large banner at each event, and the sponsorship is noted on event advertisements and posts on the organizations’ social
“We appreciate everything fire, emergency medical services, and police departments do for our farm families and communities, and we want to show them our support,” said Carla Vanderheiden, administrative assistant at IPPA, who oversees the program.
Bacon A Difference has distributed nearly $20,000 to almost 40 groups since its inception in 2018.
For more information on how to apply for Bacon A Difference support, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communities receiving Bacon A Difference support in 2020