BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark to Benefit Food Bank of Iowa, DMARC, local food pantries

July 12, 2023

Food banks and food pantries across Iowa will benefit from the inaugural BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark event, which takes place this Saturday at Principal Park in Des Moines. The Food Bank of Iowa and the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) will each receive at least $5,000 worth of ground pork. Additional funds raised through the event will pay for ground pork to be distributed to food pantries across Iowa. The Iowa Pork Producers Association is partnering with the Iowa Cubs and Cactus Cares to organize the event.

“So many people in our community are struggling right now to meet their basic needs,” said Des Moines Area Religious Council CEO Matt Unger. “Our community can better address these challenges by working together. With the support of local leaders like the Iowa Pork Producers Association, we are one step closer to meeting that need. Donations of meat products can be one of the most challenging items to come by and goes a long way.”

One of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s (IPPA) We Care principles is caring for people. This event illustrates IPPA’s commitment to those principles.  

“Food insecurity is at an all-time high,” said Michelle Book from the Food Bank of Iowa. “It takes all of us working together to make a difference for hard-working Iowans struggling to make ends meet. I’m grateful for Iowa pork producers who are feeding the world and helping to feed their neighbors in need.”

The inaugural BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark takes place this Saturday, July 15 at Principal Park in Des Moines from 12-4 p.m. For just $25, attendees receive samples of Iowa pork from 30 different backyard barbecuers, 15 samples of craft beers from nine different Iowa breweries, and $5 vouchers to use at the concession stands. There will also be two BBQ Bootcamps so attendees can pick up some grilling tips, as well as enjoy live music, games, and more. Iowa Cubs mascot Cubbie Bear will make an appearance and the Cubs playground area and Speed Pitch game will be open for this family friendly event.

30 backyard barbeque experts will be competing for more than $10,000 in prizes. Berkwood Farms will provide all the pork used for the event. Fareway Stores is also providing numerous resources for BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark.  

“This is going to be a great celebration of Iowa pork and craft beers, while helping address food insecurity in Iowa,” said IPPA President Trish Cook. “Iowa pig farmers care about the people of Iowa and the animals we raise. We’re thrilled to work with the Iowa Cubs and Cactus Cares to organize the inaugural BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark.”

Cactus Cares will each be giving away Treager Smoker during the event and the Iowa Pork Producers Association will give away a Blackstone Griddle and additional prizes. Raffle tickets are free. Other free door prizes include $50 gift cards from Fareway Stores, and packages from Cookies Food Products, the Iowa Cubs and Iowa craft breweries.

Parking will be free at Principal Park. Seating inside and outside the stadium will be open. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs as well.

Full price tickets cost $25, with $5 from every ticket purchase helping to provide pork for local food pantries. Iowans who want the BBQ experience without the brew can attend for $15. Kids under 5 get in free. Visit to get more information and click here purchase your ticket today.