Posted June 14, 2012
“Special Delivery. Homes. Help. Hope. For Haiti,” a campaign launched last December by the Iowa Food & Family Project, has generated more than $400,000 in contributions to the Global Compassion Network (GCN) to provide shelter and soy-based meals to Haitians recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake.
The remarkable results were announced June 7 by Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Ag Secretary Bill Northey, “Special Delivery” campaign co-chairs, at a news conference hosted by Sukup Manufacturing Co. in Sheffield.
“Special Delivery” encouraged contributions to the Laurens, Iowa-based GCN for the purchase of up to 48 Sukup Safe T Homes®. The dwellings resemble modified grain bins, can provide shelter for up to 10 people and are virtually earthquake proof. The homes are being erected on the Village of Hope established last year by the GCN near Port au Prince, Haiti.
“Our goal was to encourage contributions to the GCN by June 1 totaling 48 homes,” says Reynolds. “Sec. Northey and I are pleased to announce that the equivalent of 64 homes has been contributed. This remarkable support is proof once more that when asked to help, Iowans don’t reply, ‘Why?’ Instead, they say, ‘What can I do and when can I start?’”
“Special Delivery” also is providing much-needed food for Haitians. Earlier this year, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) pledged up to $48,000 – or $1,000 per home, up to 48 – for the purchase of soy-based Meals from the Heartland (MftH). Combined with a contribution from Cargill-Iowa Region, nearly 230,000 servings of MftH were packaged by more than 1,200 FFA members at this spring’s state FFA leadership conference in Ames. They’re currently being delivered to Haiti by the Convoy of Hope.
“Special Delivery” traces its roots to work begun by Laurens farmer Ken DeYoung. After watching the devastating television footage of the Haitian earthquake, he took action and helped organize the non-profit GCN which, in turn, established the Village of Hope. GCN then began conversations with Sukup early last year about the possibilities of sourcing Safe T Homes for the village to provide temporary housing for Haitians displaced by the earthquake.
“Conversations lead to relationships and relationships create opportunities for partnerships,” says Charles Sukup, president of Sukup Manufacturing Co. “The Sukup team is a family and we’re humbled to be part of this inspiring campaign.”
DeYoung thanked the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Monsanto for their contributions and the generosity of every donor. He also applauded the many dedicated volunteers for meeting the aggressive goal in delivering homes and food in just six months’ time.
“Our success does not end today,” says DeYoung. “We will build on the campaign’s momentum by partnering with the Sioux Central FFA to generate additional resources that will assist the people of Haiti as only Iowans can. It’s truly inspiring to be part of this effort.”
The Iowa FFP (www.facebook.com/foodnfamilies) is a purpose-driven initiative created by the ISA and dedicated to inspiring greater awareness, understanding and trust between farmers and consumers. It involves nearly 30 dedicated and committed affiliates including commodity groups, food retailers, businesses, associations and food relief organizations. It’s funded in part by the Soybean Checkoff.