Donations made by attendees at January’s Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance in Des Moines and matched by the Iowa Pork Producers Association were presented to the Food Bank of Iowa in a ceremony earlier this month.
IPPA encouraged Taste of Elegance guests to make monetary donations to the Food Bank’s BackPack Program™. The association matched the donations and added $1,500. IPPA presented CEO Michelle Book with a check for $2,826. The funds will help provide more than 10,000 meals to underprivileged Iowans.
“As Iowans, we’re proud of our state’s agricultural tradition. Our farmers and food producers provide nourishment for our home state and around the globe,” said Book. “It’s fitting that the Food Bank of Iowa and the Iowa Pork Producers Association work together to address food insecurity right here in our own backyard.”
The IPPA Restaurant and Foodservice Committee wanted to give back to the state and was looking for a charity it could partner with for the 30th Annual Iowa Pork Taste of Elegance Reception that invites chefs to create new pork entrées! The committee considered disaster relief among other noble causes, but decided on the Food Bank of Iowa and its BackPack Program.
“After all, Iowa’s pork producers are in the business of feeding the world,” said committee Chairman Dave Struthers, IPPA past president of Collins.
BackPack is designed to lessen the consequence of chronic childhood hunger by providing a sack of kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare foods to low-income elementary school children on weekends when they do not have access to the federal free and reduced-price meal program, according to the group’s website. The contents of the backpacks vary each week, but contain a variety of items such as pop-top meals or soup, 100 percent juice, single-serve cereal, fruit cups, sunbutter (made with sunflower seeds), shelf-stable 2 percent milk, pudding cups and snacks.
The Food Bank says it will serve more than 5,000 low-income children each week at 139 sites in 31 Iowa counties in 2016.
“Although there are always hurdles to overcome, the Iowa pork industry has much to celebrate, so what better way to celebrate than by helping feed kids in our own backyards,” said IPPA Marketing and Programs Director Kelsey Sutter. “Partnering with the Food Bank just made a lot of sense and the thought of hungry kids in our communities is a cause everyone can get behind!”
IPPA happily supports the Food Bank of Iowa and thanks everyone who helped make the donation possible.